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Freeman claims relationship with Excel "fluid" amid reports of departure

Dodgers 1B Freddie Freeman indicated that his reception in Atlanta didn’t factor into his decision regarding his representationDale Zanine/USA TODAY Sports

Dodgers 1B Freddie Freeman did not confirm that he “filed paperwork to terminate his relationship with his longtime agents at Excel Sports Management,” though he “did say the situation remains ‘fluid,’” according to Jack Harris of the L.A. TIMES. Reports stated that Freeman was “planning to change representation” after Excel led the talks in March that resulted in Freeman signing with the Dodgers instead of returning to the Braves. A source said that the MLBPA “sent an email to all agents asking them not to contact Freeman, a procedure that typically takes place after a player changes representation.” The developments are the “latest sign that Freeman was seemingly unhappy with the way his free agency unfolded before the season, when the longtime Braves star failed to strike a new contract with his old team despite his publicly stated desire to remain in Atlanta.” Freeman indicated that his “emotional reception during his first return to Atlanta this weekend didn’t factor into his decision regarding his representation” (L.A. TIMES, 6/29). ESPN.com’s Buster Olney cited sources as saying that Freeman “indicated to some of his former teammates over the weekend that he was going to change agents, given his frustration with how his free agency concluded in March.” People within the Braves organization “believe that his weekend-long emotion was tied, to some degree, to lingering anger and sadness” that he did not return to the Braves (ESPN.com, 6/29).

DIFFERENT AGENDAS? MLB Network's Xavier Scruggs noted it seems like Freeman “definitely wanted to be an Atlanta Brave and it looks as if the agency overplayed their hand.” Scruggs said in the negotiating, Excel stated he "needs this and they finally said, ‘Okay, we’ll go somewhere else.’" Scruggs: "That looks to be an issue when it comes to having the representation represent you the right way.” MLB Network’s Lauren Gardner said agents at times during negotiations will say “we want the most we can get as opposed to what the player actually wants.” WFAN’s Keith McPherson: “They’re representing the player, so they get a cut so they’re trying to get the most money they all can get” (“Off Base,” MLB Network, 6/28).

NO CHANGE FOR SWANSON: In Atlanta, Justin Toscano reports Braves SS Dansby Swanson, who is repped by Excel and will be a free agent at the end of the season, is staying with the agency and “will never leave the agency.” Swanson said that Freeman’s decision on representation “will not affect his own thinking” (ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION, 6/30).

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