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David Freese trade thoughts..

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By Greg Bearringer, AngelsWin.com Columnist -

1) David Freese might as well wear a sign that says "average third baseman" around his neck, because I think that's probably what the Angels are expecting out of him next season. He is probably better that (since he has pretty good plate discipline), but a back injury might just eat into his playing time over the next two seasons. Barring that,  "average"  marks a huge upgrade for the Angels at the hot corner, and makes a fine bridge to Kaleb Cowart.

2) That being said (and I am going to parrot Keith Law ($) here somewhat), I'd probably rather have three seasons of Peter Bourjos than two of Freese, but its not a huge difference-- and, considering the Angels roster, its a move that makes perfect sense. In a vacuum, you'd prefer  the cheaper defensive ace with an extra year of control, but this ain't a vacuum and the Angels don't exactly have Brooks Robinson available to take over third. The noise 'round here hates the deal because it's an organization giving up Bourjos, and there is a decent chance that he is a better player over the next three years-- but its no guarantee.  Over the past three years, he's had one really good season and two wrecked by injuries and middling results. If he's 2011 Bourjos this is a great move for the Cards-- but remember that season's stats were inflated with a higher than average BABIP-- which might be sustainable, but might not be.. Its half a step back, a full step forward move for the Halo's, especially considering how bad their third base options really are.

3) If we think of this as two separate trades,  the Angels loose a value in the Freese-Bourjos deal but break even in the Fernando Salas -Randal Grichuk deal. It is my opinion that the Angels needed two relievers this offseason, but only one 8th/9th inning guy. Salas might be that, but probably isn't. I like hime better than most people seem to, but remember this: building a good bullpen is essentially a numbers game, and he's got a chance to be a pretty good 5th guy out of the pen. Grichuk is nothing more than lottery ticket with the upside of Mark Trumbo and the downside of Adam Dunn minus all the walks (albeit with an actual, according-to-Hoyle defensive position). While I wouldn't put it past the Cardinals to develop Grichuk into a regular, the odds are long at best.

4) This deal will look better in about two weeks. Why, you ask? Simple: this move is essentially telegraphing the long-expected pitchin' trade by the Angels. What this move says to me is that the Angels aren't afraid to add a little salary or trade an asset since they like their other trade options. The addition of Freese does allow for an offensive downgrade at another position.  My guess is that Jerry Dipoto has a few Howie Kendrick/ Mark Trumbo conversations going on, and he's confident in his ability to convert at least one of the pair into some young pitching.

In summary, this deal will probably look much better when the offseason is complete, but as it stands it's a small positive move for the Angels in 2014 and '15. If Bourjos goes ham and becomes the guy so many here believe he can be,  if Grichuk becomes a solid player down the line,  or if Freese's back injury weighs him down too much, the Angels will be kicking themselves.  However, it will probably be a small step back for the Angels in terms of total value-- but, since they are filling a cavernous void at third base from a position of depth, it will probably end up as a net positive. 


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In regards to Bourjos his 2011 BABIP was not out of line and may have been low when you look at his Minor League BABIP numbers. Speedsters like Peter usually run high BABIP's. Also if you take his partial 2012 and 2013 seasons and project them out to 550 plate appearances he would have averaged about 4.1 WAR per season across those 3 years.


Although this trade satisfied from a "Needs" perspective and possibly from a "Strategic" perspective, it completely failed from a "Value" perspective. We simply did not extract nearly enough value from the Cardinals as you suggested.


I am not unhappy that we found a solid option at 3B in Freese and yes I agree with you that this trade was consummated because Dipoto had several options for Kendrick/Trumbo/Aybar that allowed him the flexibility to move Bourjos.

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I agree.


This is the first move of several.


Not sure if it's a trade for pitching or signing a F/A rotation guy.......but it's a move.


I see Halos are IN or Arroyo (he's decent, number three/four type guy) and BARTOLO COLON!!  (It would be real interesting if we end up signing Bartolo Colon for a one year deal perhaps a one plus one but for perhaps MORE money than we were unwilling to give him to re-sign several years back -- it could happen, I guess).


If we do sign Colon I can just see the posts spewing out this board now and would be multiplied if he gets hit hard in his first start back........


I'm hoping we don't sign Colon -- the 'hey, look at what the stupid Angels did' factor is just too high.........

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I see a lot of analystical pieces on whether or not someone would've done the trade and even I did this.  But upon sleeping on it, I think it's abundantly clear that Jerry Dipoto made the right decision for him and for Scioscia.  


The fact is, if the Angels don't go past the first round of the playoffs in 2014, Dipoto and Scioscia will both be canned.  Dipoto's fighting for his job right now and regardless of the fact that this isn't good for the Angels in the long run, it almost certainly should make them better in 2014.  Dipoto's not a man with his eye on the future right now, he's a man fighting for his job right now.  And according to that philosophy, the deal makes perfect sense. 

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Yep we traded an oft injured GREAT defensive CF, that can be replaced on our team by the best player in the game. We received a third baseman who was hurt last year that is one year removed from a .290 20 home run .370 OBP season, that is only 30 years old as of opening day.

See that's pretty easy to do.

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Oh and is it that far fetched to call Freese a potential All Star? It's not like there is a glut of great third baseman. I will say that Peter has a better chance of being an All Star because St. Louis does a better job of voting for their own.

Donaldson, Longoria, Machado, Seager, possibly Cabrera depending on where he plays.

That's an extremely talented group of 3rd basemen.

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Ok Phil, that being said. Would you rather trade one of them for depth/minor league restocking/3rd starter, or would you rather keep them and sign a couple veterans to be the third and fourth starters?


my name isn't Phil, but I'd like to field that question Mr. Senator. 


It appears that the trade market for starting pitching is not what we would hope it to be and that what we are offering does not appear to be enough to net us a #3 starter.  That being the case, to use Kendrick or Aybar to restock the farm without improving the major league club is not likely to happen nor is it necessary prior to the start of the season.  Those chips likely have as much value at the deadline or even before next season if it gets to that. 

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