MLB agent Casey Close is suing Doug Gottlieb over a Freddie Freeman tweet


MLB agent Casey Close is suing Doug Gottlieb over a Freddie Freeman tweet


Baseball agent Casey Close is suing radio personality Doug Gottlieb for defamation, court documents obtained by ESPN Thursday, providing the latest twist in a week-long saga involving agent and Los Angeles Dodgers star Freddie Freeman.

It follows Freeman’s offseason decision to leave the Atlanta Braves, the only team he had played for in 12 MLB seasons, to join the Dodgers as a free agent on a six-year, $162 million contract. The deal caused a stir because of Freeman’s history with the Braves and its importance to their 2021 World Series run.

Close, one of the biggest agents in the game and part of Freeman’s team at Excel Sports Management, was reportedly embroiled in a lengthy negotiation with the Braves that ended with Atlanta going in a different direction. On March 15, while Freeman was still on the open market, Atlanta traded for Oakland A first baseman Matt Olson and quickly signed him to an eight-year, $168 million contract extension. Two days later, Freeman joined the Dodgers.

Both players settled into their new roles early in the season, and both the Dodgers and Braves started strong. It wasn’t until late June, when the two teams met for a three-game series in Atlanta, that problems surfaced.

Freeman, who made his Atlanta guest appearances for the first time, was visibly emotional during the opening game of the Braves series. Four days later, ESPN’s Buster Olney reported that Freeman had parted ways with Close and Excel. Olney also stated that those close to Freeman believed “his weekend emotions were, to some degree, coupled with lingering anger and sadness that his negotiations ended with him playing with a team other than the club that owned him.” originally moved in”.

Following Olney’s coverage, Gottlieb — a Fox Sports Radio host and former college basketball star — sent a viral tweet that pulled it all together, claiming that Close never told Freeman about the Braves’ latest offer and that Freeman was unaware of it until he did Atlanta visited. When told, Gottlieb said Freeman fired Close.

The next day, Close issued a statement on Excel saying the Braves were responsible for creating a “false narrative” about Freeman’s departure.

“I will not allow the circumstances surrounding Freddie Freeman’s departure to be misrepresented,” Close said.

The agent also spoke to Sports Illustrated about Gottlieb’s tweet.

“It’s not at all true what Doug Gottlieb recklessly tweeted, and I would testify under oath,” Close said. “We are currently examining all legal options in this matter.”

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A legal option has now been chosen as Close and Excel are suing Gottlieb for defamation. The complaint, filed Thursday, alleges that Gottlieb’s tweet damaged the plaintiffs’ name, business and reputation, and that “Close has received death threats from individuals believed to be Atlanta Braves fans.”

“Plaintiffs have suffered damages in an amount to be determined in court but estimated in the tens of millions of dollars,” the document said.

Freeman has not commented publicly on the matter. In a statement to ESPN, Close claimed the lawsuit was an attempt to correct misunderstandings.

“The complaint clarifies what happened during the negotiations with the Atlanta Braves,” he said.

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