David Freese Rumors
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.
Daniel Barbarisi of the Providence Journal broke down the options for the Red Sox in regards to veteran Mike Lowell headed into the 2010 season. Lowell posted a .290/.337/.474 line in 484 plate appearances with Boston last season and stayed off of the disabled list following hip surgery last fall.
Lowell has one year left on his Boston deal that will pay him $12MM in 2010, a price tag high enough to scare off any potential trade suitors unless the Sox were willing to cover some of the cost. There's also the added complication of Lowell's no-trade clause in his contract. Barbarisi suggests that Lowell might agree to be dealt to a National League team where he could play every day, but given Lowell's health history, it might be hard to find a club willing to take a 36-year-old with a lengthy injury history as an everyday third baseman without the safety net of the DH position. Lowell himself admitted to Barbarisi that he tired from playing almost every day in the first half of the season, but then also said that he wished he could have played more in August and September when Kevin Youkilis took a big chunk of the playing time at third base.
One intriguing possible trade partner could be St. Louis. Midseason pickup Mark DeRosa is a free agent and will soon be undergoing wrist surgery, according to MLB.com's Matthew Leach. This leaves the Cardinals with a hole at third base should top prospect David Freese (a .931 OPS in Triple-A, Double-A and Rookie League ball last season and an .837 OPS in 34 plate appearances with St. Louis) not be ready to take over the everyday role next season. Lowell could keep the seat warm for Freese if Boston pays part of Lowell's contract, a condition that the Cards would likely insist upon given that they will explore re-signing Matt Holliday and signing Albert Pujols to an extension this off-season.
What do you think? Should the Red Sox think about moving the 2007 World Series MVP, or should they keep Lowell around to provide depth to the Victor Martinez-Casey Kotchman-Youkilis triad that mans the catcher, first base and third base spots?
UPDATE, 12-15-07 at 3:18pm: Krasovic has learned that the Cards sent $2MM over to the Padres in the Edmonds deal. Kevin Towers apparently pushed for more salary relief but settled there.
FROM 12-14-07 at 10:32pm:
According to Tom Krasovic of the San Diego Union-Tribune, the Padres have agreed to trade minor league third baseman David Freese to the Cardinals for Jim Edmonds. The Cards will also send more than a million in cash to offset some Edmonds' $8MM salary.
Freese is mildly interesting for a prospect who'll be 25 in April. He's yet to reach Double A but he did draw 69 walks this year. Baseball America says there's a chance he's moved off third eventually (and notes that he's done some catching in an instructional league).
Edmonds is an OK one-year play for the Padres. He dipped to a .325 OBP and .403 SLG last year as a 37 year-old, and only got into 117 games due to back/leg/groin/hamstring/shoulder/toe injuries. It still might make sense to let Scott Hairston handle the lefties. Edmonds seemingly waived his no-trade clause to go to San Diego.
Joe Strauss says the Cards will first consider internal options in center. Top prospect Colby Rasmus is 21 and hasn't seen Triple A yet. Rick Ankiel is also a possibility. Guys like Mike Cameron, Kenny Lofton, Corey Patterson, Nate McLouth, or Coco Crisp could be external options.
Viva El Birdos weighs in on this deal; check it out.