LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Dodgers managed one final addition before the deadline for postseason eligibility, acquiring veteran corner infielder David Freese from the Pittsburgh Pirates for minor league infielder Jesus Manuel Valdez on Friday night.
Freese, batting .283/.337/.447 this season, will be a right-handed hitting platoon option at first base who might occasionally spell Justin Turner at third. The Dodgers entered Friday’s 3-2 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks batting only .233/.316/.396 against lefties, but Freese is batting .284/.344/.413 against them.
“He’s a veteran presence, offensive, great clubhouse guy,” said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, who plans to start Freese exclusively against lefties. “Our guys [in the front office] have done a great job supporting us, and I’m really excited to have him.”
Players needed to be with their respective organizations by Aug. 31 in order to qualify for postseason rosters. The Freese addition came about eight hours after the club acquired veteran reliever Ryan Madson, who will be given an opportunity to pitch in high-leverage situations.
Prior to the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, the Dodgers — one game out of first place in the National League West and 2½ games back for the second wild-card spot entering September — also acquired shortstop Manny Machado and second baseman Brian Dozier.
Freese, who has accumulated nine home runs and 41 RBIs in 93 games, sports a .784 OPS that is his highest since his All-Star season in 2012. The 35-year-old is best known for putting together a heroic October performance while being named World Series MVP for the 2011 St. Louis Cardinals.
“Definitely happy to have him,” Turner said. “Professional hitter, love watching him take his at-bats, and looking forward to wearing the same jersey as him.”
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