Pirates trade David Freese to Dodgers

David Freese
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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.

Brian Cashman signs 4-year contract to remain Yankees GM

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SAN DIEGO — Brian Cashman has signed a four-year contract to remain the New York Yankees Senior Vice President and General Manager. The announcement was made during the first day of baseball’s Winter Meetings.

Cashman, New York’s GM since 1998, had been working on a handshake agreement since early November, when his five-year contract expired.

The Yankees were swept by four games in the AL Championship Series and haven’t reached the World Series since winning in 2009. It is the franchise’s longest title drought since an 18-year gap between 1978-96.

Cashman’s main goal during the offseason is trying to re-sign AL MVP Aaron Judge.

Judge hit an American League-record 62 homers this season with a .311 batting average and 131 RBIs. He turned down the Yankees’ offer on the eve of opening day of a seven-year contract that would have paid $213.5 million from 2023-29.

While Judge remains on the market, Cashman was able to re-sign Anthony Rizzo on Nov. 15 to a two-year contract worth $40 million after turning down a $16 million player option.

Cashman has been the Yankees general manager since 1998. He has been with the organization since 1986, when he was a 19-year old intern in the scouting department. In his 25 seasons as GM, the Yankees have reached the postseason 21 times, including four World Series championships and six American League titles.