Agent Casey Close Sues Doug Gottlieb for Libel Over Freddie Freeman Contract Tweet

Doric SamJuly 14, 2022

Tiffany Rose/Getty Images for Harold and Carole Pump Foundation

Doug Gottlieb of Fox Sports is reportedly being sued by agent Casey Close for libel stemming from a tweet regarding Close's former client Freddie Freeman.

According to ESPN's Jeff Passan, Close is alleging Gottlieb defamed him and Excel Sports Management when he tweeted that Close deliberately withheld a final offer from the Atlanta Braves for Freeman before he ended up signing with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Freeman fired Close last month.

Close immediately denied Gottlieb's report. He told Sports Illustrated's Tom Verducci in a statement, "There is no truth whatsoever to what Doug Gottlieb recklessly tweeted, and I would testify to that under oath. We are currently evaluating all legal options in this matter."

According to Verducci, the Braves offered Freeman a six-year, $140 million deal in March, but talks "stalemated" and caused Atlanta to turn its attention to pursuing first baseman Matt Olson. The team acquired Olson from the Oakland A's and signed him to an eight-year, $168 million extension. Freeman wound up signing a six-year, $162 million deal with the Dodgers just a few days later.

Prior to Gottlieb's report, ESPN's Buster Olney reported that Freeman "has told friends he's angry with how his free-agent negotiations played out," which led to him severing ties with Excel Sports Management.

However, Freeman later told reporters that he was "working through some issues" with his agents and added, "My representation remains a fluid situation and I will update if needed." But when he was asked about Gottlieb's report that Close withheld an offer from him, he declined to comment.

Freeman is in the midst of a strong season with Los Angeles, batting .317 with 12 home runs and 56 RBI. However, he has been open about his emotions after departing Atlanta after 12 years.


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