Recently fired agent of Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Freddie Freeman, Casey Close, has denied a report that he was let go of his duties for failing to inform Freeman of the Atlanta Braves’ final offer during free agency negotiations this past offseason.
The report, which came from Fox Sports radio host Doug Gottlieb, said that Freeman would have taken Atlanta’s offer and Close knew that.
“Casey Close never told Freddie Freeman about the Braves final offer, that is why Freeman fired him,” Gottlieb tweeted Wednesday. “He found out in Atlanta this weekend. It isn’t that rare to have happen in MLB, but it happened – Close knew Freddie would have taken the ATL deal.”
The claim had yet to be questioned until Thursday, when Close issued the following statement:
“There is no truth whatsoever to what Doug Gottlieb recklessly tweeted, and I would testify to that under oath,” Close said, via the New York Post. “We are currently evaluating all legal options in this matter.”
Close is the lead negotiator of Excel Sports, which had represented Freeman until Tuesday. During contract negotiations, Close reportedly presented Alex Anthopoulos, the head of baseball operations for the Braves, with a couple of offers from the Dodgers which were higher than what the Braves were offering.
Close gave Atlanta an hour to respond and up their offer. The deadline passed and the Braves quickly pivoted — making a trade with the Oakland Athletics for first baseman Matt Olson and inking him to an eight-year, $168 million deal.
The Braves’ final offer, however, was never known to Freeman, Gottlieb said on The Doug Gottlieb Show.
“[Freeman] found out over the weekend just how close Atlanta had come in their final offer, called up Casey Close and said, ‘You didn’t tell me about this offer? You’re fired,’” Gottlieb said.
Excel Sports has issued its own statement on Gottlieb’s report, claiming the information to be inaccurate.
“Doug Gottlieb tweeted a wholly inaccurate characterization of our negotiations with the Atlanta Braves on behalf of Freddie Freeman,” the statement reads. “We are immediately evaluating all legal options to address the reckless publication of inaccurate information.”