The Los Angeles Dodgers acquired third baseman David Freese from the Pittsburgh Pirates at the waiver trade deadline on Friday night.
Hours after acquiring right-handed reliever Ryan Madson from the Washington Nationals, sources told NBC LA that the Dodgers were still seeking another right-handed bat, and potentially another right-handed pitcher.
Sources: #Dodgers still talking to teams seeking a right-handed bat and a right-handed pitcher. Less than two hours to go before waiver trade deadline ends. — Michael J. Duarte (@michaeljduarte) September 1, 2018
According to sources, the Dodgers had discussed multiple right-handed bat options off the bench with a few different teams, but ultimately a deal fell into place with the Pirates and Freese in the waning moments before the midnight eastern time deadline.
Freese to dodgers — Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) September 1, 2018
The deal was completed minutes ahead of the deadline, making Freese eligible for postseason play. The former World Series MVP, was hitting .282 with nine homers and 42 RBI in 94 games with the Pirates this season.
In exchange, the Pirates received minor league infielder Jesus Manuel Valdez. Valdez spent his first professional season playing for the Dominican Summer League Dodgers, batting .230.
"It was a difficult decision," Pirates' General Manager Neal Huntington said in a statement, adding that the move would give Freese an opportunity to pursue a championship, while providing opportuniteis for Pittsburgh's younger plays to get time on the field down the stretch.
The 35-year-old is expected to start against left-handed pitching, and be a powerful right-handed bat off the bench. Defensively, he has appeared in 54 games at third base and 15 games at first base this year.
"I just found out," said Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts after the team's win against the Diamondabcks on Friday. "He's a world champion. We're going use him against left-handed pitching, he's a bat off the bench, he can play the corners, he's a veteran presence, offensive, and a great clubhouse guy. We're excited to have him."
Freese is a 10-year Major League veteran who won the World Series and World Series MVP Award with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2011. He was originally selected by the San Diego Padres in the ninth round of the 2006 First-Year Player Draft and has played for the Cardinals (2009-2013), Angels (2014-2015) and Pirates (2016-2018) over the course of his career.