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David Freese Was Going To Retire If The Dodgers Didn’t Bring Him Back

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 28: David Freese #25 of the Los Angeles Dodgers reacts after hitting a solo home run during the first inning of game five of the 2018 World Series against the Boston Red Sox on October 28, 2018 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Remember when the Dodgers retained David Freese on a one-year deal in November? As fate would have it – that signing kept Freese in the game of baseball – and from the throws of retirement.

Moreover, Freese spoke at FanFest over the weekend about how close he came to hanging up the cleats.

There were initial questions as to why Freese’s pay was cut to $5 million for 2019. Light is shed on that situation here:

The interest coincided with a pair of desires for Freese. He wanted to stay in Los Angeles. And he sought to avoid the demeaning, depleting process that free agency has become. He figured he would prefer retirement to waiting until March for a new deal. So he let the Dodgers cut his pay to $5 million, and sounded thrilled with the outcome.

Furthermore, Freese stated that he felt relief to avoid the open market and return to Los Angeles for another year. Still, it appears that some frustration exists in the current free agent bargaining process, if you take Freese at his word.

“Data is laying it out there on how guys play, how they show up later on in these huge deals,” Freese said. “And I guess it’s just not panning out. So teams are just not going to throw that out there — especially if there aren’t more than a team or two fighting for a certain player. Especially if you’re in your 30s.”

Freese didn’t mix words. He doesn’t like the way baseball is headed in terms of short contracts for aging players. Equally important – if a veteran player like Freese feels strongly enough that organizations are being tight with purse strings – how many other veterans feel that way and retire early due to it?

“I don’t like it,” he said. “I don’t think it needs to be like that. We understand how much money is out there, and the question is: where is the fans’ money going?”

The game has seen a pendulum swing – and there’s no telling how far it will swing before it swings back. David Freese is just one cautionary tale that was so narrowly avoided.

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Written by Clint Evans

Clint lives in Ohio, and played collegiate baseball. He loves the Dodgers due to his first memories of Chavez Ravine when he was nine years old. The voice of Vin Scully has been a staple in his life since he was a kid. No amount of baseball talk is ever enough, and he wishes the regular season was year round. He has written about baseball online since 2007.

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  1. Great to have Freese back! I love having players like Freese, Pollock, Turner, and Jansen as Dodgers who want to be a Dodger. Free agency? The current pay process is broken and needs to be replaced in its entirety, but are the veteran players and owners willing to start with a blank sheet of paper and come up with a process that substantially rewards players early in their careers at the expense of mega deals for aging veterans? If yes they better start working on it now, because it will be a complicated and lengthy negotiation.

  2. The new labor talks should be interesting. I hope everything gets sorted out without a work stoppage.

  3. “Throes”, not “throws”; although it is something of a baseball pun. “Mince”, not “mix” words. You “mixed” your words!

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