Fantasy leaguers: immediately draft/keep/pick up Peter Bourjos for the 2014 season. He’s going to be a steal.
According to multiple reports, the Angels and Cardinals are on the verge of a deal that would send center fielder Peter Bourjos to the Cardinals for third baseman David Freese, though there may be other pieces involved. The Angels had been looking for a third baseman, and were known to be making Bourjos available in trade (the Cubs may have had some interest, given their theoretical opening in center field). Bourjos is a Gold Glove caliber center fielder, but has been intermittently light with the bat. That will change imminently.
As for Freese, he was down in 2013, and has two more years of arbitration left, in which he’ll get a bump from his $3.15 million salary this past year. There’s a fair chance he’ll bounce back next year, but the Cardinals could afford to move him with Matt Carpenter and Kolten Wong presumably handling second and third base.
I’ll have more on this as it comes out. This really might be a trade-happy offseason.
UPDATE (1:36pm CT): Sounds like there are prospects involved in the deal, too. Hard to say who will get the better end of the prospect stick, since Bourjos is younger, cheaper, and offers an extra year of control over Freese. On the other hand, Freese is a year removed from being one of the most valuable third basemen in baseball, and was very good the year before, too. On the balance, you’d hope the Angels were getting the better prospect(s).
UPDATE 2 (1:47pm CT): Rosenthal says the Cardinals are getting Randall Grichuk, a 22-year-old outfield prospect. He was a first rounder in 2009, but hasn’t really torn it up as he’s progressed to AA. The Angels are getting Fernando Salas, who is not a prospect, but is an arbitration-eligible reliever. He could be a good one, but it’s another area of strength for the Cardinals. The deal makes sense for both sides, and the Cardinals likely just improved quite a bit without digging into their prospect stable. Grumble.