UPDATE 1:00p.m. ET: More information has surfaced about David Freese possibly heading to Anaheim. The Cardinals are reportedly interested in only the Angels' outfield depth in exchange for their third baseman, and have not discussed Erick Aybar or any of the RedBirds' young pitching, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.
The Halos have an abundance of outfielders on the active roster, so the Cardinals could potentially go after any one of Peter Bourjos, Mark Trumbo, Kole Calhoun, J.B. Shuck or Collin Cowgill. Rosenthal adds that the talks are still in the "discussion stage."
This is not the only recent instance that the Cards and Halos have been rumored as trade partners, but it's the first time we know of that Freese's name has popped up in discussions. There's no firm word on who else is involved in a possible deal, but Jeff Fletcher of the OC Register hears that the Cardinals like center fielder Peter Bourjos and believes that "he could be the guy" dealt for Freese.
While the Angels have stated that their primary goal this offseason is to bolster the rotation, third base is probably a close second in terms of need. With Alberto Callaspo moving to the A's at the trade deadline, and top prospect Kaleb Cowart taking a huge step back in his development, the Halos have a huge question mark at the hot corner for 2014. Angels third basemen hit .246/.304/.333 with eight home runs in 2013, among the lowest returns at the position in the majors.
The Angels do have a few internal options -- namely Luis Jimenez, Chris Nelson and Grant Green -- but all have their limitations, which likely explains why the club has been linked to names on the open market, and why they might have interest in bringing Freese on board.
Freese, 30, had a career-worst year for the RedBirds in 2013. He hit .262/.340/.381 with just nine home runs in 138 games and cost the club a number of runs (-14, per defensive runs saved) on defense. Despite his poor numbers, Freese still has two years of club control remaining, so he should have at least some positive trade value.
For the Cardinals, their main goal this offseason is to find a long-term solution at shortstop. There's no word that the discussion between the two clubs involved Erick Aybar, but St. Louis has shown interest in him in the past, and the Halos are believed to be open to dealing the Gold Glove shortstop.