With the MLB hot stove still cooking from the Ian Kinsler – Prince Fielder trade, the rumor ward quietly birthed another possible trade, this time with the hashtag #Angels attached to it. According to the all-knowing Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, the St. Louis Cardinals and the Los Angeles Angels have discussed sending David Freese to Anaheim.
Credit: H.Darr Beiser-USA TODAY Sports
While the loss of Peter Bourjos would be lamented by Angels fans, it might be the perfect fit. Since sending Alberto Callaspo to the Oakland Athletics, the Angels are in need of a third baseman. Freese is under team control for the next two years an is affordable, making just over $3 million in 2013. While Freese is coming off a down year, his previous two season were solid with both the bat and the glove where he posted a solid 125 OPS+ as a combined 5.6 WAR player. In 2013, things tapered off it should be of note that Freese was battling a back ailment for much of the season so it is reasonable to assume he could return to form with a clean bill of health.
For the Angels, losing Peter Bourjos is something they could likely cope with. Bourjos and his inability to stay off the disabled list has becoming a growing concern, having failed to log over 200 plate appearances in each of the last two seasons. Mike Trout is more than capable of patrolling centerfield and the likes of Kole Calhoun and J.B. Shuck ready to come off the bench make the possible loss of the speedy outfielder all that much more bearable.
Losing Erick Aybar is another story. One the Angels probably don’t want to explore.
The only viable options to replace Aybar at shortstop would be Andrew Romine or presumably, Pete Kozma. The Cardinals infielder is roughly the same type of player as Romine (read: good glove, no bat) but with more big league experience. The Angels losing Aybar would be a tough loss and felt both in the field and offensively.
The St. Louis Cardinals have made outfield a priority for them this off-season. Taking a chance on a player like Peter Bourjos would fit their needs. He hits from the right-hand side (unlike Jon Jay and Oscar Taveras) and can add speed and even a bit of pop off the Cardinals weak bench. If the trade does occur, it won’t be anywhere near the blockbuster that the division rivals Texas Rangers just pulled off. That doesn’t mean it won’t help the Los Angeles Angels and make a ton of sense.
However, with the recent loss of left-handed pitcher Jason Vargas, the Angels situation just got a whole lot tougher. Pitching is the Angels priority this off-season. And with very little money to spend, no prospects and few viable players to trade, Jerry Dipoto and company might want to pull back any offers to send Bourjos to St. Louis unless a pitcher (or two) are involved.