The Pittsburgh Pirates announced Monday that they’ve signed 1B/3B David Freese to a two-year extension beginning in 2017 with a club option for the 2019 season. As first reported by Jon Heyman, Freese will make $6.25 million in 2017, $4.25 million in 2018 and, in 2019, there will be a $6 million team option or a $500 thousand buyout.
— Pirates (@Pirates) August 22, 2016
“David has been a consummate professional while producing offensively and playing solid defense at both third and first base to help this team win games,” Pirates’ general manager Neal Huntington said in a press release.
Freese is hitting .276 with a .355 on-base percentage and .437 slugging percentage in 107 games with the Pirates this season. A former member of the St. Louis Cardinals and Los Angeles Angels, Freese has added quality defense and playing first base to his repertoire in his first season in a Pittsburgh uniform. His offense has been a nice addition as well — he’s hit 12 home runs while batting in 49 runners and scoring 59 runs so far this summer.
The 33-year-old Freese has added much-needed depth at both the first and third base positions — where the Pirates have needed it most. Initially signed as a third baseman, Freese made a rather smooth transition to first base so the Pirates were able to keep his bat in the lineup. Now, with third baseman Jung Ho Kang on the disabled list, Freese will move back to third base, which allows the development of prospect Josh Bell to continue at the major league level the rest of the season.
“We are very pleased to have the opportunity to extend that impact into future seasons,” Huntington said.
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