This afternoon the Cardinals finally pulled the trigger to trade David Freese, Fernando Salas for Peter Bourjos and Randal Grichuk. With having a down year the Cardinals plus other problems in the mix the powers that be decided to move Freese in order to move Matt Carpenter to his natural position of thirdbase and ease Kolten Wong to secondbase. With Bourjus in the mix he will see majority of his time in centerfield. This means the Jon Jay will probably end up as a bench player. Bourjus defensive skills are compared to Jim Edmunds. He is able to cover a lot of ground and has an exceptional defensive glove. He is a speed merchant. With this in mind he would fit well in the top of the batting order as a number two hitter. The righthanded-hitting center fielder, who was a target of interest for the Cardinals. Bourjos was only limited to 55 games last season by injury. Peter Bourjos hit .274 with a .333 on-base percentage and a .710 OPS. We will also have control over Bourjus for the next three years. The only down side on Bourjos is his batting He had 1,136 MLB plate appearances while batting a .251 with a .306 onbase percentage and a .398 slugging percentage and has an OPS+ of 98. Which means he’s been a slightly below -average big-league hitter. Bourjos hasn’t done much against lefthanded pitching, putting together a slash line of .256 / .301 / .405 in 301 plate appearances vs. lefts. And he’s also coming off the wrist surgery. I imagine things could get better in this department for him.
I was also surprise to see the Cardinals being able to get Randal Grichuk in this deal. Grichuk a former #1 pick was taken 24th overall by the Angels in 2009. Grichuk is known as a free swinger but his discipline at plate is a challenge. He also has a lot of power. Grichuk hit 22 homers with 27 doubles in 500 at-bats in Class AA last season. He had an overall .474 slugging percentage, but pounded LH pitching for a .524 SLG. In a analysis I found on Grichuk by John Sickels is quite interesting. Here is his thoughts on the slugger, “Given his age, work ethic, and the fact that the Cardinals emphasize strike zone judgment, I’d have to assume that working on his approach at the plate will be a primary goal in 2014. Grichuk doesn’t have to turn into a walk machine, but even slight improvements with his strike zone judgment will go a long way, getting him better pitches to hit and express his power against. He should begin ’14 in Triple-A.”
I give the Cardinals a slight edge on this trade. With youth you could never go wrong. Bourjus has a bright future with the Cardinals and will become a fan favorite due to his hustle in the outfield and on the bases.