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Pirates Trade David Freese to the Dodgers

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The Pittsburgh Pirates have traded third baseman David Freese to the Los Angeles Dodgers according to Jon Heyman. The Pirates will receive infielder Jesus Valdez, who played in the Dominican Summer League this year. More on this shortly.

Neal Huntington released a statement on the trade:

“We made the difficult decision to trade David to give him an opportunity to pursue a World Series Championship this season. We truly appreciate all that David has contributed to the Pirates these three seasons and wish him well,” said Huntington. “This move will free up valuable playing time for some of our younger players, while clearing some salary. We are also pleased to add a player with interesting power, athleticism and defensive versatility to our system in Valdez.”

Freese had a $6,000,000 team option next year, which the Pirates seemed unlikely to pick up. This move confirms that they didn’t have the intentions to bring him back, so they not only saved his remaining salary for this year ($685,484), they also don’t have to pay him a $500,000 buyout on the option year.

Valdez didn’t sign until he was 19 years old (signed on July 3, 2017) and he hit .230/.343/.412 in 60 games in the DSL this year. He went 16-for-23 in steals and played all four infield positions. He’s a right-handed hitter, who stands 6’0″, 175 pounds. He appears to be a non-prospect, as nothing really stands out about his game and he was old for the level.

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John Dreker
John Dreker
John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball. When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.

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