By Chad Stewart
It is clear that the Angels were ready to move on from David Freese early in the offseason when they acquired Yunel Escobar from the Nationals. However, Freese is still available, and his asking price has undoubtedly fallen significantly.
The Angels should re-sign David Freese.
Yunel Escobar has played second base in the past, and while we all loved Johnny Giavotella last year, his numbers were nothing special, and there is no guarantee that he would be able to repeat that season. However, he did have a knack for performing in the clutch, and delivered a countless number of big hits for the team last year. That’s why he would be a terrific player to have on the bench. He could pinch-hit in big situations, and would provide some much needed depth.
Freese has been a solid and consistent performer with the Angels since the team acquired him prior to the 2014 season. He doesn’t produce eye-popping numbers, but his consistency has been key to the Angels offense over the last couple of seasons (.259/.322/.402), and he adds some pop to the bottom of the order. He made a name for himself with his performance in the 2011 postseason with the Cardinals, and he always seems to show up in the biggest situations when the team needs him most, like we have seem him do so many times over the past two seasons. I don’t think it was a coincidence that the team’s late-season surge coincided with his return from the DL.
Fellow infielder Howie Kendrick had to settle for a 2-year, $20 million contract, so Freese should come relatively cheap (maybe even a one-year deal?) and should slot the Angels slightly above, or possibly even below, the luxury-tax threshold. He doesn’t represent the big signing or impact bat that we all hoped for, but he would add depth and consistency to a team currently lacking in both.