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Freddie Freeman, seemingly upset with free-agency process, reportedly terminates agents

Jack Harris, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Baseball

DENVER — Freddie Freeman has reportedly filed paperwork to terminate his relationship with his longtime agents at Excel Sports Management, saying in a statement his "representation remains a fluid situation" barely three months after he signed a six-year, $162 million contract with the Dodgers.

Earlier Tuesday afternoon, ESPN reported that Freeman was planning to change representation.

According to a person with knowledge of the situation who wasn't authorized to speak on the record, the MLB Players Association sent an email to all agents asking them not to contact Freeman, a procedure that typically takes place after a player changes representation.

In his statement, which was provided to MLB.com, Freeman said he is "working through some issues with my longtime agents at Excel" and that he will "update [the situation] if needed."

The move served as the latest sign that Freeman was seemingly unhappy with the way his free agency unfolded before the season, when the longtime Atlanta Braves star failed to strike a new contract with his old team despite his publicly stated desire to remain in Atlanta.

Entering the offseason, the industry expectation was that Freeman would re-sign with the Braves. Even the Dodgers, who quietly courted him before MLB's 99-day lockout, weren't initially optimistic of luring the former most valuable player away.

 

But when free agency resumed following the lockout's end in March, negotiations between the Braves and Freeman's camp quickly fell apart.

At the crux of the fallout was a reported March 12 deadline Freeman's agents at Excel gave to the Braves. According to an ESPN report at the time, the Braves had offered a deal of five years and $140 million, to which Freeman's agents responded with two counterproposals, one for five years and another for six years, both for significantly more money.

The two sides failed to find middle ground. And two days later, the Braves acquired All-Star first baseman Matt Olson from the Oakland Athletics, effectively eliminating any chance of Freeman returning to the only club for which he'd ever played.

After signing with the Dodgers on March 16 — in a deal that included $57 million in deferred payments, giving it a present-day value of just over $148 million — Freeman voiced displeasure with the Braves during his introductory news conference with the Dodgers.

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