The Pirates’ infield, in total, doesn’t look too bad, with Jung-Ho Kang (when he’s fully ready), Josh Harrison, and Jordy Mercer holding down the 2B/SS/3B positions, and an intriguing John Jaso/Michael Morse/Jason Rogers trio at first.
But there are so many questions – what if Kang isn’t healthy and/or the league adjusts? what if Harrison’s 2015 is more real than his breakout 2014? what if John Jaso can’t play first? what if Jordy Mercer repeats his terrible 2015 season? – and an apparent lack of quality depth.
So, then, the Pirates made a wise move today, signing free agent David Freese to a one-year, $3 million deal. Let’s be clear that Freese, who turns 33 next month, is not quite the guy you might remember from his best days with the Cardinals in 2011 and 2012. But he can still play average defense at third base, and can swing that bat a bit above average (106 and 110 wRC+ the last two years). He was worth 2.1 and 2.2 WAR the last two years in a regular role.
On a $3 million deal, and as a part of the overall depth picture, this is a fantastic move for the Pirates.
For now, Freese figures to become the starting third baseman until Kang is ready, and then the team will sort out who goes where when he comes back.