Already this offseason reports have linked David Freese to the Yankees and the Marlins, and now Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that the Angels have “discussed a trade” for the Cardinals third baseman.
St. Louis shopping Freese makes sense, because he’s coming off a down year and about to get expensive via arbitration. Plus, the Cardinals have top prospect Kolten Wong just about ready to step in at second base, which would allow them to replace Freese by shifting Matt Carpenter to third base.
Freese hit .262 with nine homers and a .721 OPS in 138 games this year, but made the All-Star team in 2012 while hitting .293 with 20 homers and an .839 OPS before going nuts in the playoffs.
The Giants placed outfielder Hunter Pence on the 10-day disabled list with a right thumb sprain, per an official announcement on Friday. Pence initially sustained the injury during the club’s home opener on April 3, when he dove to intercept a line drive double from Robinson Cano and jammed his thumb. Weeks of playing through the pain hasn’t worked, so he’ll take a breather while the Giants give outfielder Mac Williamson a chance to start in left after getting called up from Triple-A Fresno.
Pence, 35, wouldn’t pin his recent struggles on his injury, but it’s clear that he’s having difficulty finding his footing this year. He slashed a meager .172/.197/.190 through 61 plate appearances in 2018, collecting just one extra-base hit and two walks during the Giants’ dismal 7-11 stretch. While it’s far too early in the season to make any final judgments, it doesn’t look like the veteran outfielder will be replicating the .275+ average, 4.0+ fWAR totals of years past (at least, not anytime soon).
Williamson, meanwhile, has gotten off to a hot start in Triple-A. Prior to his call-up this weekend, the 27-year-old batted an incredible .487/.600/1.026 with six home runs and a 1.626 OPS through his first 50 PA. A hot Triple-A bat doesn’t always survive the transition to the majors, but the Giants will use all the help they can get — especially as they take on the AL West-leading Angels this weekend.