The Angels will finally be fixing their third base problems, and perhaps for good. The Angels ranked 27th in the Major Leagues in third base OPS (.637). They will be receiving Freese, a 30-year-old third baseman, who has a career .783 OPS. In 2013, Freese hit .262/.340/.381 with 9 home runs and 60 runs batted in. In 2012, Freese had a great year, hitting 20 home runs and knocking in 79 runs. Freese is under contract through the 2015 season. The Angels will also be receiving relief pitcher Fernando Salas, who has a career 3.42 ERA in 187 games with the Cardinals.
The Cardinals will be able to move Matt Carpenter to third base, Kolten Wong to second, and Peter Bourjos to center. This is an upgrade at three positions for them. Bourjos, 27 in 2014, only played in 55 games in 2013. As a 162 game average for Bourjos, he hits .251/.306/.398 with 11 HR and 41 RBI. He also averages 19 stolen bases every 162 games. Bourjos' combination of OBP and speed should make him a great leadoff hitter within the next few years as he enters his prime. As for Randal Grichuk, the 21-year-old was the 24th overall pick in the 2009 Draft. In Double-A in 2013, Grichuk hit .256/.306/.474 with 22 home runs and 64 runs batted in. He shows promise as he looks to make the MLB.
This deal seems to be helping both teams, as I do not believe one team really benefitted from the trade. I like the Cardinals upside to this deal, as they got two young outfielders as they look to improve themselves. The Angels definitely helped a problem of theirs, but I do not believe that Freese was the absolute best option for them. He was probably the most efficient option for the Angels, but I do think they could've made a more "flashy" transaction. He has been pretty reliable over the past two seasons, however.