Former World Series MVP David Freese was traded by his hometown St. Louis Cardinals to the Los Angeles Angels in a four-player deal Friday that reunites Albert Pujols with a pair of ex-teammates.
Freese, in a conference call with media, said he got a welcoming text from Pujols and responded with a reference to the 2011 World Series: ‘‘Remember what we did the last time we played together? Let’s go try to do that again.’’
Freese, 30, didn’t think his drop-off in production last season — .262 with nine homers and 60 RBIs — had anything to do with the pressure of being the ‘‘hometown kid.’’
Freese injured his back during spring training and never hit his stride. He batted only .179 in the postseason, going 3 for 19 (.158) with no RBIs in the six-game World Series loss to the Red Sox.
‘‘Obviously, I'm a little sad closing this chapter, but I’m extremely pumped about joining the Angels,’’ said Freese, who made $3.15 million last season and is eligible for salary arbitration.
St. Louis obtained a new starting center fielder in Peter Bourjos, plus outfield prospect Randal Grichuk. The Cardinals also sent reliever Fernando Salas to the Angels.
‘‘Overall, we just felt this was a very compelling deal to make,’’ Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak said.
The Cardinals will move second baseman Matt Carpenter to third base, opening a position for former top draft pick Kolten Wong.
The speedy Bourjos, 26, played in just 55 games last season because of injuries. He will send Jon Jay to the bench.
A-Rod awaits ruling
Now the waiting begins for Alex Rodriguez and Major League Baseball.
Rodriguez’s grievance hearing to overturn his 211-game suspension ended Thursday when both sides rested their cases, a day after the Yankees third baseman angrily walked out and decided not to testify in his own defense.
The sides set a schedule to file briefs by Dec. 11 and reply briefs by Dec. 21, which will close the record and submit the matter to arbitrator Fredric Horowitz. His decision on whether to uphold or alter the discipline for the three-time AL MVP likely will be made in January, a person familiar with the proceedings told the AP. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because no statements were authorized.
The timing of the case could complicate planning for the Yankees, who don’t know if they will have to pay Rodriguez his $25 million salary and are unsure whether they will need a different starting third baseman.
Mets get OF help
Outfielder Chris Young and the Mets have agreed to a $7.25 million, one-year contract, a person familiar with the negotiations told the AP. The agreement is subject to a physical, the person said. Young, 30, hit .200 with 12 homers and 40 RBIs last season for Oakland . . . Righthander LaTroy Hawkins and the Rockies finalized their $2.5 million, one-year contract. Hawkins, who turns 41 on Dec. 21, will compete for the closer’s role at spring training . . . The Indians added depth to their bullpen, signing lefthander Mike Zagurski, 30, to a minor league contract with an invitation to training camp . . . Astros owner Jim Crane has sued the team’s former owner and a pair of media companies, alleging he’s lost possibly hundreds of millions of dollars because they misrepresented the value of a regional television network that broadcasts Astros games. The lawsuit accuses former Astros owner Drayton McLane Jr., as well as Comcast Corp. and NBC Universal Media of fraud, misrepresentation, and conspiracy. The suit also accuses McLane of breach of contract. Astros games are broadcast in the Houston area on Comcast SportsNet Houston. When Crane bought the Astros in 2011 for $615 million, part of that included a more than 40 percent stake in the regional television network. But only 40 percent of the city’s television households could view games this year; most cable providers in the area did not have carriage agreements.