NEW YORK — A radio host has admitted he falsely claimed Agent Casey Close never informed first baseman Freddie Freeman about the Atlanta Braves’ latest contract offer.
Doug Gottlieb tweeted on June 29, “Casey Close never told Freddie Freeman about the Braves’ final bid.” Close and Excel Sports Management sued Gottlieb for defamation in mid-July in the US District Court in Manhattan.
Gottlieb tweeted an apology Wednesday.
“Following further review of my sources, a review of the lawsuit filed against me in this matter, and speaking directly to Casey myself, I have learned that the conduct I allege did not occur and that there is no credible basis for the allegation ‘ Gottlieb wrote. “My final investigation into this matter confirms that Casey Close did indeed submit all of the offers to Freddie Freeman and that the sources I relied on were unquestionably false.
“I appreciate the damage that misinformation like this can do,” Gottlieb added, “and have reached out to Casey Close with a direct apology. I also deleted my original tweet.”
Close, 58, is a director of Excel and one of three managing partners. He has represented several hundred baseball players, including Hall of Famer Derek Jeter.
Gottlieb also tweeted on June 29 that Freeman had fired Close. However, Excel remains Freeman’s listed agency, according to the Players’ Association.
“It was clear to us from the outset that Mr. Gottlieb’s tweet was grossly inaccurate and that we would appeal to establish the facts,” Close said in a statement. “He has completely retracted his testimony and admitted that he misread the story. We consider this matter closed.”
Close and Excel later on Wednesday filed a notice of voluntary release in US District Court in Manhattan.
Gottlieb, 46, is affiliated with Fox Sports, the Pac-12 Network and CBS Sports, according to the lawsuit.
Close said in the lawsuit that on March 29, 2021, the Braves offered Freeman a $110 million five-year contract beginning in 2022, and then on August 1, a $125 million five-year contract and on August 1, a $135 million dollar proposal. 4, all rejected by Freeman.
Close said he and the Braves had their last two Freeman contract talks on March 12 and that he made two proposals to the team that day, which were rejected. Close said he asked the team if they had an offer to present to Freeman and was told the team had not.
Atlanta announced on March 14 that it had acquired first baseman Matt Olson from the Oakland Athletics, signaling that the team was no longer trying to hold onto Freeman. On March 17, Freeman signed a six-year, $162 million contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Freeman hits .323 with 17 homers and 84 RBIs.
https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/34542980/radio-host-doug-gottlieb-admits-made-false-claim-freddie-freeman-contract-talks-atlanta-braves Radio host Doug Gottlieb admits he made false claim on Freddie Freeman contract talks with Atlanta Braves