ATLANTA — Freddie Freeman said Friday he got "two phone calls all offseason" from the Braves, as he explained his side of the series of events that led to him joining the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Speaking at an introductory press conference at Dodger Stadium, the longtime Atlanta franchise cornerstone said "communication wasn't all there in the offseason" between the Braves and his representatives.
"I got two phone calls all offseason. I got more from (Dodger executive) Andrew (Friedman) to my agent in a matter of a couple hours," Freeman said. "So I didn't know what was going on. I got one call the day before the lockout, of a checking-in, and I got one call when the lockout was lifted, just checking in. I don't know how to interpret that, but that's just the reality of what was going on."
After the Braves traded for Oakland A's star Matt Olson - a first baseman, like Freeman - earlier this week, it was clear Freeman's time with the Braves was effectively over.
That became official when he signed six-year, $162 million deal with Los Angeles a few days later.
Freeman said he wasn't informed ahead of time by the Braves that the Olson trade was in the works.
"I got the news when I was at workout, the trade had happened," he said. "Had no idea that was gonna happen or anything like that."
He said upon hearing the news his "emotions were all over the place."
"We're all human. When you spend time in some place for 15 years and you see that chapter had closed, right then and there, I was all over the place. I didn't really speak for a couple hours, just trying to figure it all out, what was going on," he said.
A Southern California native, Freeman said after the initial shock of the realization that he'd be leaving Atlanta, he said "excitement creeped in" at the possibility of going home.
"When the Dodgers and other teams expressed interest and wanted to communicate, to want to get me here, that was huge for me," he said. "Things just started moving quicker when the (Olson) deal went down."
Braves general manager Alex Anthopolous, speaking earlier in the week after the Olson trade, choked up and said it was one of the toughest deals he's ever had to make - appearing to acknowledge the implication that it spelled the end for Freeman's Braves career.
Asked Friday by a reporter what he made of "Anthopolous' tears," Freeman said: "I saw them. That's all I'll say."