On Friday, the Cardinals sent third baseman and 2011 World Series MVP David Freese along with reliever Fernando Salas to the Angels for center fielder Peter Bourjos and outfielder Randal Grichuk. Bourjos gives the Cardinals an elite defender in center to replace the below-average glove work of Jon Jay and a former first-round pick who has shown some power potential at Double-A. The Angels get a third baseman with a decent bat and some potential to be an above-average player and a spare reliever for depth.
Both teams addressed needs but the early reactions around the baseball world are calling this one for the Cardinals and you don't have to take my word for it
A lot of folks in the industry LOVE the Bourjos-Freese trade for the Cardinals.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) November 23, 2013
Over at Halos Heaven, the reaction to the deal can be described as less-than-thrilled. In an interesting take on the deal, Rev Halofan notes that Freese is basically the same player as Alberto Callaspo, who the Angels traded away last season for prospect Grant Green. He doesn't see the swap of Callaspo and Bourjos for Freese and Green as a win for the team in any way.
At ESPN, Kieth Law also has the Cardinals coming up as the winners ($$), noting that St. Louis managed to turn an expendible resource into a useful player in Bourjos. With Freese out of the picture, the cardinals can now move Matt Carpenter back to his natural position and slide prospect Kolten Wong into the everyday second baseman role.
Law's ESPN colleague and ZiPs creator Dan Szymborski also calls this one for the Cards-
I would pay more to have Peter Bourjos for 3 years than David Freese for 2.
— Dan Szymborski (@DSzymborski) November 22, 2013
Most of the love going to St. Louis for this deal centers around their new, superior defensive alignment. Fangraphs contributor Mike Petriello sums up the potential impact perfectly-
If Bourjos replaces Jay in CF, & Carpenter replaces Freese at 3B, St. Louis' defense just improved by like 1,000,000%.
— Mike Petriello (@mike_petriello) November 22, 2013