Angels Trade Peter Bourjos for David Freese


Aug 27, 2013; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Los Angeles Angels center fielder Peter Bourjos (25) works out prior to the game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Well, it finally happened. For two years now, Peter Bourjos has found his name in the middle of seemingly every trade rumor that swirled around the Angels. General Manager, Jerry Dipoto, consistently said that Bourjos was a part of the long-term plans for the Angels, making him seemingly off limits. Until now.

/throws phone from a moving car

My initial reaction was: “Damnit. I really like Bourjos.” My second reaction was: “What in the what? Randal Grichuk is heading to St. Louis as well?”

In return, the Angels are getting noted St. Louisian and post season hero, David Freese. Coming to Anaheim along with the prototypical third baseman that Angels fans have been clamoring for is Fernando Salas.

Freese is coming off of a down year where he posted a slash line of .262/.340/.381, a wOBA of .322 and a wRC+ of 106. He was still a little above league average, which should be comforting considering he played most of the season with lingering back pain. In 2012 he posted a .293/.372/.467 slash line, a .365 wOBA, a wRC+ of 133 and an fWAR of 4.0. When healthy, Freese is seriously valuable. But, “when healthy” is the key. He has never played in 150 games in a season.

Fernando Salas is the relative unknown in the deal for some Angels fans. And at first glance, his stats scream “underwhelming.”

Oct 27, 2013; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Cardinals third baseman David Freese (23) prior to game four of the MLB baseball World Series against the Boston Red Sox at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

In parts of four seasons, he has posted an ERA of 3.42 and an ERA+ of 111. But most of that is thanks to his 2010 and ’11 campaigns. In 2012 and ’13 he posted ERA’s of 4.30 and 4.50. His adjusted ERA+ for those seasons was 89 and 82. None of which fills me with any type of joy. And considering the inclusion of Grichuk* in the deal, it feels like the Angels got taken to the cleaners on this deal, and Dave Cameron of Fangraphs thinks the same.

In summation, the Angels traded away one of their top prospects in Grichuk along with Bourjos who, in 2011 posted an fWAR of 4.2 thanks in large part to his crazy-good defense and had become the hitter the Angels expected him to be before a broken wrist derailed his season in 2013. In return, the Angels got an oft-injured third baseman who, when healthy, is an above average hitter and is an OK defender at third along with a relief pitcher who was good for a couple of seasons a few years ago but has been below league average the last two seasons.

These are the kind of trades that I expect Tony Reagins to make. I am completely underwhelmed by this deal, and sincerely hope that it plays out better than I imagine that it will.

On the brightside, welcome to being a starting everyday player in the Major Leagues, Kole Calhoun.

* – Not once did I mention how Grichuk was the player chosen one pick before Mike Trout in the 2009 draft. I now consider myself to be accomplished.