The Freddie Freeman saga came full circle this past weekend with his return to Atlanta for the first time since signing with the Dodgers. Freeman fought back tears throughout an emotional pregame media session Friday and although he said he had no regrets, appeared genuinely remorseful that he didn’t end up back in Atlanta.
MLB.com’s Mark Bowman has the clearest account of what happened between the Braves and Freeman’s representatives during negotiations. There were two major points from Bowman’s article. First in regards to the request for a sixth-year that dominated most of the coverage around Freeman’s free agency.
This homecoming was never supposed to happen. When Freeman met with his agents at his California home near the end of February, he made it clear the only thing he wanted was to remain with the Braves. Yeah, he would have liked a sixth year, but he didn’t view the lack of one as a dealbreaker.
Second, his agents reportedly presented the Braves with a pair of options that according to Bowman, far exceeded what Freeman was expecting and told them they had an hour to respond.
As the days, weeks and months of the offseason passed, Freeman just assumed he’d eventually end up with the Braves. He maintained this thought until the evening of March 12. This was the night when Close contacted Braves president of baseball operations Alex Anthopoulos, gave him two requests that far exceeded Freeman’s expectations and said the Braves had an hour to respond.
Freeman’s tearful return to Truist Park led a lot of fans to wonder, if Freeman was so upset by his agent’s actions, then why hasn’t he made a change. Well apparently he has. Per ESPN’s Buster Olney, Freeman is changing representation away from Excel.
Sources: Freddie Freeman, who has told friends he's angry with how his free-agent negotiations played out, is changing representation, away from Excel. He is currently listed as being self-represented.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) June 28, 2022
Excel also represents Dansby Swanson, who will be a free agent at the end of the season and also represents Joc Pederson who signed a one-year deal with the Giants this past offseason.
So for those that were looking for another sign of Freeman’s unhappiness over the situation, you now have it.
Update - Freeman has issued a statement via MLB.com’s Mark Bowman. Freeman apparently is trying to walk back the initial report, but did file the paperwork to terminate his relationship with Excel Sports.
Freeman did file the paperwork to terminate his relationship with Excel Sports. But as he says in the statement below, the situation remains fluid. https://t.co/LeQKbyZPRo— Mark Bowman (@mlbbowman) June 28, 2022