2:05pm: Freese’s deal also allows him to make up to $1MM per year in bonuses based on plate appearances, tweets Heyman.
1:55pm: Freese’s deal guarantees him a total of $11MM, according to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports (Twitter link). The contract is front-loaded, paying him $6.25MM in 2017 and $4.25MM in 2018. His club option is valued at $6MM and comes with a $500K buyout.
1:44pm: The Pirates announced that they have reached a two-year extension with infielder David Freese that contains a club option for the 2019 season. Freese is a client of CAA Sports.
Freese, 33, inked a one-year, $3MM contract with the Pirates late in the offseason that has proven to be a terrific value for the club, as the former Cardinals/Angels third baseman has batted .276/.355/.437 with a dozen homers through 391 trips to the plate in 107 games this season. That he was available on a one-year deal in March was largely a function of that fact that there was little in the way of demand for third basemen on either the trade or free agent market this winter. He’ll now forgo the risk of sitting through that level of uncertainty again with a new two-year deal that presumably affords him a raise on his modest 2016 salary.
The Pirates took some heat from their fans following last month’s trade of Francisco Liriano and a pair of prospects in exchange for Drew Hutchison and a good deal of salary relief, but the savings from that swap — which freed Pittsburgh from Liriano’s $13MM salary in 2017 — look like they’ve already begun to be reallocated in the form of this deal. Freese will continue to give manager Clint Hurdle another option at third base in addition to Jung Ho Kang, who has twice been on the disabled list this season and is also currently the subject of a criminal investigation. He’s also made 43 appearances at first base this season and has even made a pair of cameos at second base, giving Hurdle multiple options when it comes to utilizing him over the next two to three seasons.