Angels trade Peter Bourjos for David Freese

USA TODAY Sports

The Anaheim Angels have traded outfielder Peter Bourjos to the St. Louis Cardinals for third baseman David Freese

The Angels have sent outfielder Peter Bourjos to the St. Louis Cardinals in exchange for third baseman David Freese, per a variety of reports on Twitter and elsewhere.

Bourjos, who turns 27 at the start of next season, is an elite-level defensive centerfielder who has struggled to hit consistently and stay healthy.  Bourjos was terrific in 2011, but has received just 391 plate appearances in 2012-13 combined, and seemed to have fallen out of favor with manager Mike Scioscia.  In St. Louis, Bourjos will presumably get a chance to be the team's everyday centerfielder.  He is arbitration eligible and has three years of team control remaining.

Freese, who turns 31 in April, is a pretty decent hitting third baseman with questions about his glove.  He struggled both offensively and defensively in 2013, posting a negative bWAR and just a 0.3 fWAR in 521 plate appearances.  Freese is arbitration-eligible and has two years of team control remaining.

This is a bit of a curious move for Anaheim, as they were supposedly looking to trade an infielder, not add one via trade.  Moreover, even coming off a down year, Bourjos would seem to have significantly more value than Freese.

There are two other players also in this deal, with the Cardinals getting Randal Grichuk.  Grichuk, the Angels' first round pick in 2009, is a 22 year old outfielder who struggled in AA this past season, showing power but not on base skills.  Anaheim is getting Fernando Salas, a 28 year old righthanded reliever who has struggled the past two years for the Cardinals after putting up a 2.28 ERA with 24 saves in 2011.

My initial reaction is, solid deal for St. Louis, mystifying move for Anaheim.  Maybe the Rangers can pull a Napoli and get Bourjos from the Cards now.

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