LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers management addressed two areas of concern on Friday by acquiring a pair of World Series winners, right-handed reliever Ryan Madson from the Nationals and right-handed-hitting infielder David Freese from the Pirates.Madson will provide late-inning experience to a bullpen that has wobbled in the late innings, while
LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers management addressed two areas of concern on Friday by acquiring a pair of World Series winners, right-handed reliever Ryan Madson from the Nationals and right-handed-hitting infielder David Freese from the Pirates.
Madson will provide late-inning experience to a bullpen that has wobbled in the late innings, while Freese will likely play first base against left-handed pitching and be a primary right-handed pinch-hitter. Freese won the World Series with the Cardinals in 2011, hitting a game-tying, two-run triple in the ninth and a walk-off homer in the 11th in Game 6 before St. Louis defeated Texas in Game 7 to win the title.
"He's a world champion ... veteran presence, great clubhouse guy," said manager Dave Roberts. "We're excited to have him."
With the uncertainty of closer Kenley Jansen, the readjustment of starter-turned-reliever Kenta Maeda and slow rehabs of pitchers Thomas Stripling, John Axford and Julio Urias, the Dodgers are willing to overlook the 5.28 ERA of Madson.
"The numbers aren't indicative of the stuff," Roberts said of Madson, obtained for Minor League pitcher Andrew Istler. "For us, we're betting on the stuff and the person."
The 38-year-old Madson will be activated when rosters expand on Saturday and will be eligible for the postseason. He has about $1.2 million remaining on a three-year contract and will be a free agent after this season.
Madson won World Series rings with Philadelphia and Kansas City. He has two seasons with at least 30 saves and is 4-1 with a 2.85 ERA in 46 postseason games, high-leverage experience the Dodgers' bullpen needs.
"It's huge," Roberts said of Madson's resume. "There's a difference in the late part of the game versus middle and early lower leverage. I think just to see pitch execution in those spots. Any reliever in leverage, there's a lot more misfires in execution. With Ryan, having had success in the seventh, eighth and ninth inning, that's something you can hang your hat on."
The Dodgers had interest when Madson was a free agent three years ago, but they backed out when the bidding got too spirited and resulted in a three-year, $22 million deal.
Madson also has a lengthy medical history, having undergone two Tommy John operations, plus spending two stints on the disabled list this year for chest and back problems, returning from the latter just last week, but already being clocked in the mid-90s.
Left-handed pitcher Adam Liberatore was designated for assignment by the Dodgers to clear room on the 40-man roster. Istler is a 5-foot-11 right-hander with a 2.37 ERA at three levels this season, but he was not rated by MLB Pipeline among the Dodgers Top 30 Prospects.
Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001.