With uncertainty surrounding Alex Rodriguez's suspension going into 2014, the Yankees are reportedly discussing trading for third baseman David Freese with the St. Louis Cardinals, according to Mark Feinsand. Bringing in Freese would give the team a solid if unspectacular backup plan in case MLB's arbitrator carries out most or all of Rodriguez's 211-game suspension this offseason.
In 138 games for the Cardinals in 2013, Freese batted .262/.340/.381 with nine home runs. His best season at the major league level to date came recently in 2012 when Freese posted a 133 wRC+ with 20 home runs and a .293/.372/.467 batting line with solid defense, but that area of his game was not as great in 2013. The Cardinals' motivation for moving Freese is apparently to open up second base for Kolten Wong by moving Matt Carpenter to third base, according to Feinsand.
Freese is currently in his second year of arbitration and would be a free agent after the 2015 season. That being the case, the Cardinals aren't likely to give him away for absolutely nothing. MLB Trade Rumors speculates that he'd make $4.4 million in arbitration this coming season. The 2011 World Series MVP and 30-year-old third baseman made $3.1 million in 2013. If the Yankees value bringing in someone with postseason experience now the same way they have in the past, it's not difficult to see why they might look to Freese to fill the hole left by Rodriguez's presumed absence.
The Cardinals have a farm system that operates with everything they touch seemingly turning to gold, so there aren't many areas of obvious need for them. They could likely use a shortstop to replace the light-hitting Pete Kozma in their lineup, but it's unclear what the Yankees have that might interest them in a trade. Eduardo Nunez is their only major league-ready non-Derek Jeter shortstop, and it's difficult to imagine too many teams lining up for his services.
Are you excited by the potential of acquiring David Freese? What do you think the Yankees can or should give up in return?
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