While Dodgers first baseman Freddie Freeman had two more hits Thursday and has reached base 17 times in his last 20 trips to the plate, his former agency, Excel Sports, filed a lawsuit against Fox Sports Radio host Doug Gottlieb.
The suit alleges libel based on a tweet from Gottlieb on June 29, which said “Casey Close never told Freddie Freeman about the Braves final offer, that is why Freeman fired him. 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.”
In the lawsuit, which was filed in U.S. District Court on Thursday, Excel Sports revealed the timeline of negotiations between Freeman and the Braves, dating back to 2021. Relevant to Freeman’s free agency, the suit says Close had two conversations with the Braves on March 12, both of which were immediately relayed to Freeman. Those conversations, the suit says, included two offers from Close that the Braves rejected, but no contract offers from the Braves.
On March 14, the Braves traded for Matt Olson, closing the door on Freeman, who signed a six-year, $162 million contract with the Dodgers three days later.
When reports surfaced that Freeman fired Close as his agent in June, the first baseman told reporters the situation was “fluid” but never confirmed the split, which was widely reported. In this lawsuit, Excel confirms that Freeman fired Close in the days after the Dodgers’ three-game series in Atlanta.
What this means for the Dodgers and Freeman isn’t clear, other than the continuance of a story that just won’t die. But what has been pretty obvious from the moment the Braves traded for Olson was that it ended what should have been a reunion between a franchise and one of its icons, one that both sides wanted, and the Dodgers simply pounced on the surprisingly-available star player.
Understandably, Freeman didn’t comment on the lawsuit Thursday in St. Louis, only telling Jack Harris at the Los Angeles Times, “I don’t see this as a situation about me. This is between Excel and Doug.”
Bill Plunkett at the Orange County Register has more on Brusdar Graterol’s shoulder pain that landed the right-hander on the injured list.
There’s a new feature at Statcast, measuring both the speed and path of bats during swings. Mike Petriello at MLB.com explains the ins and outs. It’s still early, and there’s a lot to wrap your head around, but among the notable numbers: Trayce Thompson has the Dodgers’ fastest average swing speed (91 mph), Justin Turner (75 mph) the slowest.
In a Q&A with Bill Shaikin at the Los Angeles Times, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred declined to comment on details of Trevor Bauer’s pending arbitration surrounding his suspension. But Manfred did say it will be up to the arbitrator whether what parts of the decision will be made public.
Brock Stewart, the former Dodgers draft pick who pitched four years for Los Angeles, and was back on a minor league deal last year before undergoing Tommy John surgery signed a minor league contract with the Twins through 2023, the right-handed revealed Friday.