Cleveland Indians Trade Mike Freeman

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The Cincinnati Reds acquired middle infielder Mike Freeman from the Cleveland Indians Friday. The news was first announced by Mandy Bell, who covers the Indians for, on Twitter.

Freeman, who turns 34 in August, had been with the Indians since the start of the 2019 season. Between 2019 and 2020, he played in 99 games and racked up 256 plate appearances. In that sample, he hit .270/.352/.377 with 11 hits, four home runs, 27 RBI, 25 walks, and 72 strikeouts. Furthermore, he wouldn’t have hit free agency until the end of the 2024 campaign.

Going into Spring Training, Freeman looked like a potential option over at first base for Cleveland. However, Bobby Bradley has really solidified his name this spring and looks like the favorite to start at that position come Opening Day. Bradley, who is still considered a rookie by Major League Baseball heading into the coming season, played in 15 games in 2019. Over the 49 plate appearances he made, he accumulated a .178 batting average along with a .600 OPS.

So far this spring heading into play on Friday, Bradley is batting .375/.375/1.000 over a meager sample of 16 plate appearances. As with any Spring Training statistic, it is important to take it with a grain of salt and not put too much weight into it. Although, if Bradley can carry over similar production like that over a 162-game season, then he will pay off huge dividends for the Indians.

If Bradley does not start at first base come Opening Day, then Jake Bauers is the next option on the depth chart.

Mike Freeman on the Cincinnati Reds

For the Cincinnati Reds, Mike Freeman presents another depth option for the bench. Freeman has the ability to play all four infield positions and be utilized as a pinch runner. In addition, in Cleveland Freeman was used in the outfield as well. With some of the roster construction challenges that will present themselves over the coming season, having depth is essential. That’s especially true when it comes to the bench for any team including the Reds.

The one area where he could fit with the Reds is at the shortstop position. With some of the uncertainty regarding who will be the Reds starting shortstop, Freeman does have experience at that position. In fact, between the minor and major leagues, he has accumulated a little over 1,900 innings there.

While he might not be the favorite to get the starting job, assurance there will be important for Cincinnati this season. Currently, the Reds have Kyle Farmer and Kyle Holder penciled in at that position. Dee Strange-Gordon represents yet another option for Cincinnati in camp. However, he is a non-roster invite.

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Players Mentioned: Mike Freeman, Bobby Bradley, Jake Bauers, Kyle Farmer, Kyle Holder, Dee Strange-Gordon.