If you saw anything from this weekend’s Los Angeles Dodgers-Atlanta Braves series, it was Freddie Freeman tearing up at every turn.
Speaking to the media? Yup. Receiving his World Series ring? Check. Embracing former manager Brian Snitker? You bet. Getting a loud ovation from the crowd right before his first at-bat? Duh.
What did that tell us? Well, it seemed Clayton Kershaw was a tad concerned about Freeman holding on to all those good memories with the Braves. Well, could you blame him? That was a lot to handle, even for neutral fans.
Other than that, it was evident the Braves really dropped the ball in their negotiations with their franchise icon. Or, wait … was it the other way around?
Because, on Tuesday, it was reported Freeman fired his agency, Excel Sports, with ESPN’s Buster Olney revealing Freeman “told friends he’s angry about how his free-agent negotiations” this past offseason.
Does that mean he’s mad he was unable to return to the Braves? Or that he essentially left the Braves for the same amount of money to go to the Dodgers (when you take into account taxes)? Or was he just disillusioned by the business of baseball and was displeased with how his agency perhaps made his situation a far bigger national story than he preferred?
Dodgers star Freddie Freeman fired his agency after weekend Braves’ series
Freeman’s emotions obviously seemed appropriate with the 15-year history he had with the franchise, coupled with the fact he took home his first MVP award in 2020 and brought home a World Series trophy to Atlanta last year for the first time since 1995.
However, various reports from the offseason led fans to believe that the disconnect in the negotiations stemmed from the Braves’ side of things, with their communication not being clear or consistent. After all, Freeman wanted to remain a Brave and it was believed the feeling was mutual.
Now, the timing of Freeman’s decision to fire his agency and become self-represented opens another window into this layered situation. Were Braves GM Alex Anthopoulos’ tears more genuine than previously thought?
Before the 2022 season started, Freeman also revealed he apologized to Anthopoulos. Why would he do that? Anthopoulos was GM of the Braves for only four seasons of Freeman’s tenure. He didn’t draft Freeman or sign him to his first contract extension.
Was it because Freeman found out about Excel’s negotiation process that could have forced Anthopoulos to go in a different direction with the Matt Olson trade? Did that lead the GM to be less communicative because his job was on the line as he was trying to navigate the chaotic waters following a contentious MLB lockout?
The pieces are all right here. We can spend as much time as we want putting them together regardless of how obvious it all might be, but until Freeman gives us clear reasoning for his decision, fans will be stuck in limbo trying to figure out his true feelings.