The Dodgers and catcher David Freitas have signed a minor league deal, according to his transactions tracker at MLB.com. The client of PSI Sports Management will presumably receive an invitation to major league Spring Training.
Freitas, 34 in March, played in the majors for three straight years beginning in 2017. He got into 59 games over that stretch, suiting up for the Braves, Mariners and Brewers. His career batting line is currently .200/.268/.288. In 2020, he didn’t play in the regular season but was recalled by the Brewers to take a spot on their postseason roster, striking out in his sole plate appearance.
Though Freitas hasn’t done much in the majors, he got opportunities based on his strong work in the minors. In 2019, he hit 12 home runs in 91 Triple-A games and produced a slash line of .381/.461/.561 for a wRC+ of 154. That minor league work was enough to get him a chance to play in Korea in 2021, as he was signed by the KBO’s Kiwoom Heroes. However, he struggled to a .259/.297/.374 line and was put on waivers in June. He signed with the Rays in August and hit .245/.364/.434 in 16 games for their Triple-A team down the stretch. Last year, Freitas signed a minors deal with the Yanks but was released after hitting .239/.310/.345 in 36 Triple-A games.
The Dodgers have Will Smith and Austin Barnes handling the catching duties at the major league level, but the only other backstop on the 40-man is Diego Cartaya. He’s one of the most highly-regarded prospects in the league but he has yet to reach Double-A. The addition of Freitas gives the club a veteran depth option without using a roster spot. If he’s able to make his way back onto the roster, he’s out of options but has just over a year of service time. Should his bat finally break out at the big league level, the Dodgers could keep him around for the foreseeable future.