Dodgers Pick Up David Freese From Pirates
The Dodgers continue to add pieces as they try to chase down the Brewers and Cardinals for the National League wild card. The Pirates, on the other hand, have finally admitted they’re out of it despite being buyers at the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.
The Dodgers acquired David Freese from the Pirates just minutes before the waiver trade deadline on Friday night, sending minor league infielder Jesus Manuel Valdez to Pittsburgh in return.
Freese’s tenure with the Pirates comes to an end after three years.
“We made the difficult decision to trade David to give him an opportunity to pursue a World Series Championship this season,” Pirates general manager Neil Huntington said in a statement announcing the move.
"We truly appreciate all that David has contributed to the Pirates these three seasons and wish him well. This move will free up valuable playing time for some of our younger players, while clearing some salary. We are also pleased to add a player with interesting power, athleticism and defensive versatility to our system in Valdez.”
David Freese, 3B
The Dodgers already grabbed a pair of righthanded-hitting infielders at the July trade deadline in Manny Machado and Brian Dozier and now add another in Freese. The 10-year veteran remains a quality hitter with a .283/.337/.437 slash line this season and similar numbers against both lefties (.284) and righties (.281).
The Dodgers acquired Machado and Dozier in part to get better against lefthanded pitching, but even with those two the Dodgers entered Friday ranked 26th out of 30 teams with a .232 average against southpaws. Freese remains a solid defender at third base and has played some first base as well, giving the Dodgers a potential right-handed hitting option at first to go with lefties Cody Bellinger and Max Muncy. Freese has a guaranteed contract through the end of this season and $6 million team option (with a $500,000 buyout) for next season.
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Jesus Valdez, SS
The Dodgers signed Valdez for $10,000 last year out of the Dominican Republic. He was lightly regarded as an international amateur and has hit .230 in the DSL in his first professional season as one of the oldest players in the league, albeit with an intriguing mix of power (11 2B, 4 3B, 6 HR) and speed (16 SB). Valdez is primarily a shortstop but has also seen time at third base, second base and first base this season.