According to reports, Freese’s club option for 2019 was declined and bought out for $500,000. The value of the new deal, however, is $4.5 million.
The 35-year-old Texas native appeared in 113 combined games this past season with the Dodgers and the Pittsburgh Pirates, slashing .296/.359/.471 with 12 doubles, two triples, 11 home runs and 51 RBI. He was acquired by Los Angeles on August 31 from the Pirates and played in 19 games with the Dodgers, hitting .385 (15-for-39) with two doubles, one triple, two homers and nine RBI along with a 1.130 OPS. He was also a key contributor in the Dodgers playoff run, as he went 8-for-22 (.364) with two homers and six RBI along with a .423 on-base percentage and a .773 slugging percentage in 14 games.
The 10-year big league veteran was part of the St. Louis Cardinals’ 2011 World Series championship team where he earned the World Series MVP Award. He is a career .275/.349/.415 hitter with 184 doubles, 102 home runs and 506 RBI over 10 big league seasons with the Cardinals (2009-2013), Los Angeles Angels (2014-2015), Pittsburgh Pirates (2016-2018) and the Dodgers (2018). Freese was originally selected by the San Diego Padres in the ninth round of the 2006 First-Year Player Draft.
He is able to handle both corner infield spots, as well as providing a quality right-handed bat off the bench. Freese will also assume the role of veteran clubhouse leader vacated by Chase Utley.
(Dai Sugiura provided some information furnished in this report)