Derek Jeter issued a statement Thursday in support of Dodgers star Freddie Freeman's now-former agent, calling Close a "trusted advisor and friend" who values honesty and transparency "above all else."
“I have known Casey since I was 18,” Jeter began on Twitter. “Over the last 30 years, we have had our share of differences of opinion, but to this day, he remains a trusted advisor and friend. He is a man who values morals, integrity and above all else honesty and transparency.”
Jeter’s statement follows a messy series of events that have played out publicly this past week. In the days following Freeman’s emotional return to Atlanta — where he spent the first 12 years of his career — ESPN reported Tuesday that the first baseman fired his representation after allegedly telling friends he was “angry” with how his free-agency negotiations played out.
“Last weekend in Atlanta was a very emotional time for me and my family,” Freeman said Tuesday in a statement. “I am working through some issues with my longtime agents at Excel. My representation remains a fluid situation and I will update if needed.”
Later in the week, Fox Sports radio host Doug Gottlieb tweeted an allegation as to why Freeman fired Close.
“Casey Close never told Freddie Freeman about the Braves final offer, that is why Freeman fired him,” Gottlieb wrote 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.”
Close was quick to clap back at Gottlieb’s claims, swiftly denying the rumors in a statement of his own.
“There is no truth whatsoever to what Doug Gottlieb recklessly tweeted, and I would testify to that under oath,” Close said. “We are currently evaluating all legal options in this matter.”
“I will not stand by as the circumstances surrounding Freddie Freeman’s departure from Atlanta are mischaracterized,” read the statement, which also accused the Braves of fostering “a narrative about the negotiations which, stated plainly, is false.”
Freeman said in March that he only got one formal offer from the Braves was at the trade deadline. He ultimately landed with the Dodgers after the Braves traded for Athletics first baseman Matt Olson, who signed with Atlanta on an eight-year, $168 million extension.
Last month, Mark Bowman of MLB.com reported that Close contacted the Braves president of baseball operations, Alex Anthopoulos, in March and “gave him two requests that far exceeded Freeman’s expectations and said the Braves had an hour to respond.”
Freeman reportedly looked at the proposal to the Braves as an ultimatum, though his representation allegedly contended it was nothing of that regard. In the wake of the Olson trade, Freeman said he was “blindsided” by the move.
In his first season with the Dodgers, Freeman is hitting .304 with nine home runs and 46 RBIs.
Scooter Braun took to Twitter on Thursday to blast a former business partner who sued him this week as nothing more than an “opportunist” looking to get paid. “One day I woke up to find out that a guy who took $5 million from us years ago with zero result
Twenty years on, New York has not forgotten. Relatives of those slaughtered in the terror attacks of September 11, 2001 gathered Saturday to honor their lost loved ones at the World Trade Center site in lower Manhattan. Mourners, each bearing a red rose,