According to Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, David Freese should get first crack at the Cardinals' third base job next season.
Freese was impressive in his 225 plate appearances with Triple-A Memphis, posting an .894 OPS, and hit well in a very small major-league sample as well (.837 OPS in 34 plate appearances).
Should Freese excel, it would be a welcome change from 2009 for the Cardinals, when eight different players held down the hot corner.
"I think we would like to give him a shot to play every day," St. Louis GM John Mozeliak said. "If we need to ramp up the offense in another way, we have plenty of time. But given what he accomplished this year, I definitely think (Freese) deserves that chance."
The decision to give Freese first crack at the third base job complicates any efforts to sign free agent Mark DeRosa, who wants an every day job in 2010.
Strauss added that the Cardinals have little interest in any other free agent third basemen.