Of the midseason trades the Los Angeles Dodgers completed, their deal for Manny Machado prior to the non-waiver deadline understandably overshadowed their acquisition of David Freese one month later.
The veteran infielder arrived with a wealth of postseason experience and a World Series MVP Award to his name. Yet, Freese still marveled at the talent the Dodgers possessed in their clubhouse, comparing the group to an All-Star team.
After adjusting to being part of a platoon and role as a pinch-hitter, Freese had the option on his contract for the 2019 season declined by the Dodgers but as part of an agreement to sign a new deal.
Freese is again making spot starts and appearing off the bench, and he delivered a go-ahead home run that wound up sparking a rout of the Philadelphia Phillies. The win was the Dodgers’ 41st this season, most in the majors.
Although Freese has respect for other teams he’s been part of, he admitted being with the Dodgers has been the most memorable experience of his career, via SportsNet LA:
“Yeah. I mean, not to discredit any other spot I’ve been, but I’m having a blast here. It’s not really about the 41 wins, just love this group and I feel real comfortable here. They treat me real well.”
Freese acknowledged some of that stems from being in his 11th season and having a greater appreciation for being closer to the end than beginning:
“I’ve come a long way, been to a few spots, learned a lot of things. Just having a blast.”
Several of Freese’s teammates and Dodgers manager Dave Roberts have consistently raved about the 36-year-old’s presence and impact. With Chase Utley now in retirement, Freese is looked upon as the veteran with sage wisdom.
However, that’s not to belittle his ability to contribute on the field. With a home run and RBI single on Sunday, Freese is 10-for-21 with two doubles, three home runs and seven RBI in his last eight games.
He’s received more opportunities of late by virtue of the Dodgers facing an ‘opener’ four separate times in a two-week span.