Pittsburgh Pirates: Assessing the Best Free Agent Signings of the Past 25 Years

Which GM has the best track record of attracting talent to Pittsburgh?

Milwaukee Brewers v Pittsburgh Pirates
Milwaukee Brewers v Pittsburgh Pirates / Joe Sargent/GettyImages
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No. 2 The Neal Huntington Era (Sept. 2007 - Oct. 2019)

David Freese (March 2016, 1 year, $3 million; subsequently extended for 2 years, $11 million)

Freese contributed two and a half solid years both in the field and at the dish. He excelled against lefty pitching (.308 average in his time with the Pirates), and he provided a sure hand at third base. In 2017, Freese’s range factor per game at third of 2.48 ranked second only to Nolan Arenado.

At the waiver deadline on August 31, 2018, the Pirates traded Freese to the Dodgers. The move saved some cash, as Freese had a $6 million option for the 2019 season, and Pittsburgh received an exciting young prospect, Jesus Valdez. The infielder showed some pop in the Minors and rose to Double-A Altoona before being released following the 2021 season.