By Jason Shetler
On Friday, the Pirates agreed to terms with veteran third baseman David Freese on a one-year deal. The amount is at $3 million, as reported on Twitter by Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Here now is my assessment of the move.
Statistically, Freese hasn’t put up the greatest numbers, but he’s certainly been an above league average player offensively, posting a career 112 OPS+. Last season with the Los Angeles Angels, he put up an OPS+ of 109, which is right around his career figure. Freese also posted a 2.2 WAR with the Angels in 2015, so even in his age 32 season, he was still a decent regular. With Jung-Ho Kang’s timetable of returning being unclear, having Freese gives the Pirates a good enough third baseman with experience. Once Freese moves to the bench upon Kang’s return, he could be utilized as a real weapon versus lefty pitching, as he owns an .826 OPS against them. If nothing else, Freese gives the Pirates good veteran depth, and without having to give up a draft pick in the process.