There once was a time in baseball where the New York Yankees were at the top of the landscape while Alex Rodriguez was the game’s best player.
But those days are long gone; the Yankees missed the playoffs for only the second time in almost 20 years and Rodriguez has seen not only his skills diminish but his reputation as well with several PED controversies. His latest one hurts both him and the Yankees as he is awaiting his appeal of 211 game suspension.
The impending suspension and appeal results are putting some of the Yankee plans on hold as they yet don’t know how much money they have to work with this offseason, but they have made some calls in the past few days to see what’s out there in the trade market.
The Yankees have reached out to the St. Louis Cardinals about possibly trading for third baseman David Freese in hopes of having a backup to Rodriguez just in case Rodriguez is suspended for a long period of time.
With the Cardinals’ minor league system loaded with prospects and having guys ready to step in for a veteran, the Cardinals are looking to ship away some of its veteran talent. Freese had a down year in 2013 and has become expendable due to the emergence of Kolten Wong.
Freese finished the 2013 with a .262 batting average, a .740 OPS and only nine home runs. This was a year removed from a 2012 season where Freese hit .293, boasted a .829 OPS, and blasted 20 home runs.
Freese also had a very disappointing postseason in 2013, hitting .179 with only one home run and four RBIs, but he’s greatest moment came in the 2011 postseason.
In October of 2011, Freese became a Cardinals icon as he saved them from the brink of elimination in the World Series twice.
In game six of the World Series, the Cardinals were down to their last strike, down 2-3 in the series against the Texas Rangers and 7-5 in the bottom of the ninth with two outs, Freese stepped up to the plate and quickly fell behind with a 1-2 count. With two runners on base, Freese hit the next pitch deep to right field, just out of Nelson Cruz’s reach. Freese hustled around second to get the two-RBI triple to tie the game.
After falling behind once again by two runs in the bottom of the tenth, the Cardinals were able to tie the game which set up the eleventh inning. Leading off the inning was Freese against Mark Lowe. Freese was able to work the count full and on the next pitch, Freese drove the ball to straight away center, over the wall and into the grass for the game-winning home run to send the series to a game seven.
Freese became a hero at that moment and gave fans everywhere one of the greatest games they had ever seen. Two years removed and he has battled some injuries and has begun to struggle.
Despite his struggles, the Yankees would be more than delighted to bring him in. The 30-year-old is under team control for 2014 and 2015 and with Rodriguez out of the lineup most of the 2013 season, the Yankees had great problems trying to find someone to fill in at third as they ranked last in the majors at that position.
Freese, even at a decline state, is ten times better than any player the Yankees trotted out there last year. The Yankees have at least begun to start their offseason moves and talks, it’ll be interesting to see what else they have up their sleeves.
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