Much has been made about the plethora of catchers that the Milwaukee Brewers have carried on their 40-man roster during the current offseason, but six backstops is about to become five, according to a recent report. Per Jeeho Yo, journeyman David Freitas will be headed to the KBO for the upcoming season:
#KBO signing: Kiwoom Heroes have signed David Freitas to a $600,000, one-year deal. They were the only remaining team without a foreign batter for the 2021 season. He can handle 1B and C, the Heroes said. Freitas has played for the Braves, Mariners, Brewers— Jeeho Yoo (@Jeeho_1) February 5, 2021
Freitas, who turns 32 in March, was originally a 15th-round pick by the Nationals back in 2010 and has spent time in the big leagues with the Braves, Mariners, and Brewers, although without much success at the game’s highest level. He owns a career .200/.268/.288 slash line with one home run in 143 plate appearances across parts of three seasons.
The Brewers acquired Freitas from Seattle in April 2019 for minor league pitcher Sal Biasi, and he absolutely raked at the Triple-A level for San Antonio that season. He ended up winning the Pacific Coast League batting title after hitting .387/.459/.571 in 85 games and 357 plate appearances with the Missions, including 12 home runs and 21 doubles. In fact, Freitas has long been one of the top-performing hitters in the minors — he owns a .289/.374/.438 slash across 10 minor league campaigns, including a .326/.403/.474 line in parts of seven Triple-A seasons.
Despite that sustained success, Freitas has never gotten much run at the MLB level. He maxed out at 102 plate appearances in 2018, and recorded just one hit in 13 at-bats for the Brewers as a September call-up in 2019. He spent last summer at the alternate training site but did not make any appearances for the Brewers in 2020. Freitas would have been out of minor league options heading into the 2021 MLB season, but now he’ll now get the opportunity to be a premier player for the Kiwoom Heroes and will earn the biggest payday of his career.
The move has not yet been announced by Milwaukee, but once it goes through, they’ll receive a nice buyout and will be down to five catchers on the 40-man roster — Omar Narvaez, Manny Pina, Jacob Nottingham, Luke Maile, and Mario Feliciano. With the Kolten Wong signing announced earlier today, the Brewers will have 38 players on the 40-man roster once the Freitas deal becomes official.
Statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference