The saying goes that in order to get quality, you have to give up quality. Well, the St. Louis Cardinals may have bypassed that in their trade with the Los Angeles Angels. The Cardinals gave up their fading talisman at third base, David Freese, whose 2012 season proved to be the anomaly. Following his 2011 World Series heroics and dynamic 2012 season, Freese fell off the table, only managing nine home runs and a .262 average. In the 2013 post season, Freese was next to worthless, managing only one clutch at-bat on his way to a .179 average and 16 strikeouts.
Matt Carpenter, a better all-around player than Freese, will slide over and take third base which opens up second for Kolten Wong.
In return, the Cardinals got David Bourjos, a superb fielding center fielder with excellent speed and an above average contact swing. Bourjos will give the Cardinals something they sorely lacked in 2013, a serious base running threat. Bourjos will challenge Jon Jay for center field at Busch Stadium, but wherever Bourjos ends up playing, the Cardinals will have upgraded their defensive immensely.
The Angel did get a potential upgrade at third base, but the Cardinals are the true winners here, cutting deadweight and adding a player who grants immediate benefits. Not to mention Bourjos being only 26 compared to the 30-year-old Freese.
The Cardinals also gave up Fernando Salas, who would not have factored much into the new and improved Cardinals’ bullpen, and received outfield prospect Randal Grichuk
With the Cardinals ever present in ongoing trade talks to find a short stop, this trade is nothing but positives, and Cardinals nation will be thrilled with their newest acquisition. While it’s undeniable that Freese had a huge impact on the 2011-2012 Cardinals, past performances are not enough to hold onto players who just aren’t performing.