Today, David Freese has had a comeback season and that has led to a new deal for him. He was entering this season on a one-year deal worth $3mil, but he extends his career by getting two more years added on for $11 mil total, according to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports. It is a contract that is front loaded that will let the veteran third baseman to earn $6.25 mil in 2017 and $4.25 mil in 2018 with a 2019 club option for $6 mil and comes with a $500 K buyout as well.
Now, the 33-year-old Texas native has been worth the $3 mil for the Pirates by appearing in 107 games in his first season in the city of Pittsburgh. In those 107 games, the journeyman has belted 12 homers and driving in 49 RBIs in only 348 at-bats. His average is sitting at .276, which is 0.019 better than last year (.257). Interestingly, I do think that the National League pitching has always favored Freese, as he was okay in his two years in the American League (Angels), but it does show with his on-base percentage, as he has a .355 OBP, which is the highest since his only All-Star season back with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2012 (.372).
Furthermore, allowing Freese to remain in Pittsburgh allows the Pirates to let top third base prospect Ke’Bryan Hayes develop throughout the minors. He is the next big star other than Austin Meadows to come up through the Pirates amazing farm system.
Finally, Freese’s versatility to play both corner infield spots will help him stay on the team for the future seasons. Josh Bell will play first, but Freese could steal some reps and when Kang is healthy, he will split with him or start both and move Mercer to the bench.