Report: Cardinals, Angels talking David Freese trade
Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com reports that the Angels may be willing to trade outfield depth for a new face at third.
According to Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com, the Angels and Cardinals are talking about a deal that would send third baseman David Freese to Anaheim. In a subsequent tweet, Rosenthal explains that, according to his source, the Cardinals in return would seek outfield depth. The deal at currently discussed would reportedly not involve Angels shortstop Erick Aybar -- a possible St. Louis target this offseason -- and also would not involve any member of the Cardinals' stable of young pitching.
Freese, 30, is coming off a 2013 season in which he batted .262/.340/.381 (101 ERA+). In 2012, though, Freese authored an OPS+ of 129 and hit 20 homers in 144 games. Freese has battled lower leg problems in the past, and last season he was limited by a back injury. The Angels do indeed have a hole at third, as they'd likely open the season with Chris Nelson penciled in, barring any roster changes.
As for the Cardinals, they could use the outfield depth, especially given the likely departure of Carlos Beltran via free agency. Jon Jay is badly stretched defensively in center, Allen Craig may need time at a less physically demanding position on occasion (assuming he holds down right field next season), and there's no guarantee that top prospect Oscar Taveras is ready for full-time duty at the highest level. As such, an elite fly-catcher like Peter Bourjos would be a nice fit in St. Louis.
Insofar as replacing Freese goes, the Cardinals could easily slide Matt Carpenter back to third and install Kolten Wong as the regular second baseman, or they could seek out a market or trade solution at either position.