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David Freese to Pirates: Latest Contract Details, Comments, Reaction

September 30, 2015; Anaheim, CA, USA; Los Angeles Angels third baseman David Freese (6) hits a single in the ninth inning against the Oakland Athletics at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Adam WellsFeatured ColumnistMarch 11, 2016

David Freese is taking his hitting prowess to a new home, as the veteran third baseman signed with Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday.

The Pirates announced Freese's signing on Twitter:

Rob Biertempfel of the Tribune-Review reported it's a one-year deal for $3 million.

To make room for Freese on the roster, the Pirates also announced they designated pitcher Jesse Biddle for assignment.

The former World Series MVP has been an effective hitter throughout his career, but injuries have prevented him from playing more than 140 games in a season since 2012.

When healthy, Freese has remained steady with a .258/.322/.401 slash line in 981 at-bats with the Los Angeles Angels over the past two seasons.

Freese was terrific down the stretch while trying to keep the team in the playoff picture. Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com noted Freese hit .364/.391/.477 during a two-week stretch in September after returning from a fractured right index finger.

At this stage of his career, Freese fits in best as a complementary piece, which was perfect for the Halos because they had Mike Trout and Albert Pujols in the middle of the order. He does have a flair for the dramatic, such as this walk-off home run against the Seattle Mariners in the season's final week, which kept Los Angeles' postseason hopes alive, via MLB.com:

Even though things did not pan out for the Angels, Freese's late-season surge increased his value heading into free agency. He's one of the few affordable right-handed hitters with power.

As long as the 32-year-old is able to stay healthy, he has enough pop in his bat to make a difference.

The Pirates don't have an immediate need at third base, with Jung Ho Kang slotted in as the starter, but he suffered a knee injury in September, which prematurely ended his season. At the least, Freese will provide insurance at the position, though his late signing will likely keep him in extended spring training when the season begins.

 

Stats via Baseball-Reference.com and FanGraphs.

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