Pirates third baseman David Freese was dealt to the Dodgers just prior to Friday’s deadline, according to an official announcement. They received minor league infielder Jesus Manuel Valdez in the trade.
Freese was riding out the last leg of a two-year, $11 million contract he signed with the Pirates back in August 2016, and was due $4.25 million in 2018 with a $6 million club option (and $500,000 buyout) for 2019. The 35-year-old has been one of the most stable producers on the Pirates’ roster all season and entered September slashing .282/.336/.444 with nine home runs and a .780 OPS through 265 plate appearances. In Los Angeles, he’ll likely slot into a utility role down the stretch and play back-up to Max Muncy and Cody Bellinger at first base.
Pittsburgh GM Neal Huntington also released a statement on the nature of the deal, adding that the club “made the difficult decision to trade David to give him an opportunity to pursue a World Series Championship” — something the veteran infielder hasn’t had the chance to do since his run with the Angels in 2014. Freese received his first and only championship title with the Cardinals in 2011, when he earned MVP honors after hitting a rare extra-inning, walk-off home run in the 11th inning of Game 6 of the World Series.
Valdez, 20, made a brief appearance in the Dominican Summer League this year, batting .230/.343/.412 with 21 extra-base hits, 16 stolen bases and a .755 OPS in 242 PA. The Pirates are also expected to receive a player to be named later in exchange for infielder Adeiny Hechavarria, whom they dealt to the Yankees in yet another deadline deal on Friday.