David Freese couldn’t help the Dodgers win this year’s World Series, but Los Angeles is smart to give him another chance in 2019.
Dodger fans are desperate for their front office to make moves this winter to put their favorite team over the top. Bringing David Freese isn’t that sort of transaction, but it’s still a solid move for Farhan Zaidi and company.
The Dodgers pushed the deadline to exercise an option in Freese’s contract back to buy some extra time to get a deal done. The end result is that the versatile infielder will return to Chavez Ravine on a one-year, $5 million deal.
That’s excellent value for a player who produced a WAR of 2.1 in just 113 games last year for the Pirates and Dodgers.
Much of Freese’s value for the Dodgers boils down to his ability to play multiple positions effectively. Los Angeles doesn’t know exactly what their infield is going to look like next year, but locking up a player who can provide depth at several spots is definitely good business.
If Freese had been allowed to hit the open market it’s very possible another team would have been willing to hand him a multiyear contract. The Dodgers deserve credit for convincing him that their one year contract offer was good enough to accept.
The fact that Freese is coming back for just $5 million is an added bonus.
Of course, this is just the first move of what should be a relatively busy winter for the Dodgers. It’s fair to wonder whether or not re-signing Freese rules out a big-money move for Manny Machado. Freese does play third base, which is a spot where Machado would likely get games.
Even so, these two signings are likely unrelated.
Dodgers fans really shouldn’t over think this one. Bringing Freese back on a pretty moderate one-year deal is an easy win for the franchise. He’s not going to be one of the team’s stars, but he can be a very useful cog in the machine.
Credit the front office for starting their offseason off with a solid move.