St. Louis Cardinals and Freddie Freeman Part Two
In case you missed my colleague’s post on Freddie Freeman and the St. Louis Cardinals potentially having interest in him, check it out here. This has been all over social media since the Andrelton Simmons deal. The Braves are selling and are selling fast, so Freddie Freeman is naturally the next name that comes up. What I want to do is to throw some caution out there.
I consider myself a fairly smart baseball mind. I can understand the majority of stats and know how a player should be rated according to their stats. I also know when the Cardinals have an opportunity to pounce on a great player and add to an already formidable lineup. I just don’t see it with Freeman here. No disrespect to Chris or fellow Cardinals’ bloggers out there clamoring for Freddie, I just don’t see it.
What don’t I see? High value for a player who plays a premium power position and has yet to hit over 30 home runs in a season in a hitter friendly ballpark. Let’s dive into the analysis a bit here and look at some stats. Freeman has a career OPS of .832 and a career batting average of .285, not eye popping numbers but pretty good. Freeman’s best season of his career came two years ago in 2013 when he had a slash of .319/.396/.501, with 52 extra-base hit (27 doubles, 23 home runs, two triples). Freeman had an OPS of .897 that year which was his highest of his career.
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Since then Freeman has posted OPS’ of .847 and .841 the past two seasons. Now, these aren’t bad seasons for a hitter by any means. His overall numbers simply aren’t that much of an upgrade for the Cardinals. I defended Matt Adams back in September and still think he can be of value to this team (call me crazy). When you compare Adams’ OPS in 2013 and 2014 of .839 and .779, it is clear that there really isn’t that much of a difference. Now Adams did struggle during the first part of the year and then spend the rest of the year dealing with the quad injury. While Adams may not completely measure up with a guy like Freeman offensively, he does provide better defense than Freeman (negative defensive value every year).
The problem is that the price being lofted out there of Alexander Reyes, Luke Weaver, Carlos Martinez, Jack Flaherty etc. is just crazy for a player that only provides a career OPS of .832 at first base. Freeman may be younger than Chris Davis, but I would much rather only sacrifice a draft pick and pay $10-$12 million more a year, and you know my opinion on the Chris Davis situation. In my opinion unless the Cardinal’s plan on going after a Miguel Cabrera or a Jose Abreu; leave Reyes, Weaver, and Flaherty out of any deal for a first basemen.
Additionally, just don’t waste these types of prospects trying to trade for anyone not named Cabrera or Abreu. It just makes no sense for a team to deal the top prospect of the organization for an average or slightly above average first basemen with sub par power. This team would be much better off trying to address the situation from within. There are a few in house options that could stick just fine in Mike Ohlman, Patrick Wisdom, Anthony Garcia, etc..
Next: Mark Buehrle looks like a fit for the Cardinals
That’s my rant for the day. What are your thoughts Cardinals’ fans? Are you cool with wasting two to three of the best pitchers in the system on an average player in Freddie Freeman?