Mike Freeman‘s 2017 and his time with the Dodgers included various interpretations of the word taxi.
The utility man was claimed off waivers from the Mariners on May 26, along with pitcher Chris Heston. Both were immediately optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City.
The Dodgers summoned Freeman to Los Angeles on June 5 just in case he was needed to fill in for Franklin Gutierrez, who was fighting his seemingly daily battle with ankylosing spondylitis, an auto-immune disease that ended up ending Gutierrez’s season three months early. But on this day Gutierrez proved ultimately healthy so Freeman wasn’t activated, making him a taxi squad player of sorts.
One June 25 when Gutierrez did go on the disabled list, Freeman was recalled from Triple-A. He appeared in four games with the Dodgers, including three pinch-hit appearances and a four-inning stint at third base.
In his roughly two months in Oklahoma City Freeman played in 41 games, including time at every infield and every outfield position. Shortstop was his most common fielding spot with OKC, with 14 starts and 114 innings.
On Aug. 4 Freeman was designated for assignment and after clearing waivers he declined an outright assignment to Triple-A — as was his right as someone who was previously sent outright to the minors — and elected free agency.
On Aug. 6 Freeman signed a minor league contract with the Cubs and was called up to Chicago in September.
In addition to the five times he was called up to the majors in 2017, Freeman also changed organizations twice. Freeman this year played for three teams in the majors and was 6-for-60 (.100) with two doubles, a home run and six walks.
Stats: 0-for-5 in 4 games with LA
Salary: unknown; likely somewhere close to the minimum salary of $535,000, pro-rated for his time in the majors.
Game of the year
Freeman was 3-for-4 with a double, a walk, four runs scored and an RBI in an Oklahoma City win over Round Rock (a Rangers affiliate) on June 9. He started at shortstop in that game.
Freeman is a free agent.