First we hear about the Prince Fielder and Ian Kinsler trade yesterday and today the Hot Stove keeps motoring on. This time the focus of the conversation is St. Louis Cardinals third baseman, David Freese and the Anaheim Angels according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports.
If you think about this for a second there is a real logic from both a St. Louis Cardinals and Anaheim Angels perspective. The Cardinals will be stretched very thin in their outfield since it is expected that Carlos Beltran will leave via free agency, Jon Jay’s athletic ability belongs at a corner outfield position and not center field, and Allen Craig, while powerful, is no stud in the field and will most likely hold down right field.
Have no fear Angels fans, Mike Trout is not in the discussion, but there is plenty of outfield depth to spare in Anaheim. Players like Peter Bourjos or even Kole Calhoun would be logical targets for the Cardinals. Bourjos, in his 354 game top level career, has hit .251 and stole 41 bases in 54 attempts but his real value is in the field, the man can track down a ball. Calhoun played in 58 games in 2013 improving his plate presence drastically with eight home runs, 32 RBI and a .282 batting average in 195 official at-bats.
The Angels on the other hand are in need of a third baseman and might be willing to take a chance that David Freese down 2013 both hitting and in the field is more attributed to struggling through back issues than turning 30. Freese is not far removed from a 20 home run .292 season where he played solid defense.
Currently the Angles would be relying on Chris Nelson (who played for Colorado, New York and the Angels in 2013) to hold down the corner. The addition of Freese would be an upgrade without question. If the Cardinals did trade Freese to the Angels than a logical move would be to move Matt Carpenter back to third base in St Louis and seek a second baseman through the rest of the off-season or see 23 year old Kolten Wong become the everyday second baseman after his 32 game audition in 2013.
Depending on the moving parts in the deal the Angels might be also looking to add a solid pitcher in the deal. I for one would not be surprised to see a deal that adds shortstop Erick Aybar and one of the Cardinals top pitching prospects. While the deal would not be considered “blockbuster” it is in the best interests of both teams to get a deal done and preferably before the meetings.