Freeman mulling agent change after 'emotional time' in Atlanta
"Last weekend in Atlanta was a very emotional time for me and my family," Freeman said Tuesday in a statement obtained by Mark Bowman of MLB.com. "I am working through some issues with my longtime agents at Excel. My representation remains a fluid situation and I will update if needed."
The statement follows reports that Freeman fired his representatives, according to Buster Olney of ESPN. The MLBPA emailed agents Monday stating not to contact Freeman, a common practice "when players do not want to be besieged by agents," Olney added. The 32-year-old is currently listed as self-represented.
During the weekend series between the Dodgers and Braves at Truist Park, Freeman cried during his pregame press availability, cried again later when presented with his World Series ring, and received a raucous ovation prior to his first at-bat against his former club.
Freeman added that he's ready to move past his departure from the Braves and he's very happy with the Dodgers, according to Jack Harris of the Los Angeles Times.
"When you're in a relationship for 15 years and it ended, you're going to have feelings. … Now I'm in the healing process, moving on process," Freeman said Tuesday.
Three-time Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw said it was "cool to see" Freeman's reception in Atlanta, but the Dodgers icon added that he hoped the 2020 MVP's new team wasn't "second fiddle" and stated, "I think whenever he gets comfortable over here, he'll really enjoy it."
Freeman acknowledged that he spoke with Kershaw about the comments and said things are good between the two players, according to Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic.
Post-lockout, the Braves and Freeman reportedly had mutual interest in a reunion, with Atlanta tabling a five-year offer. Casey Close, Excel Sports Management's lead negotiator for Freeman, reportedly countered by asking for more and gave a one-hour time limit to decide. Shortly afterward, the Braves acquired first baseman Matt Olson from the Oakland Athletics in a blockbuster deal, effectively ending Freeman's tenure in Atlanta.
Freeman wound up signing a six-year, $162-million contract with the Dodgers. The Braves gave Olson, who turned 28 at the end of March, an eight-year, $168-million extension.
Atlanta drafted the five-time All-Star and three-time Silver Slugger in the second round, and he spent the first 12 seasons of his MLB career with the Braves. Freeman ranks among the best hitters to ever play for the storied franchise in many categories, including homers (sixth).
In 72 games with the Dodgers, Freeman has been predictably great, hitting .304/.388/.488 with eight homers and six stolen bases.
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