Yankees lining up backup plans for A-Rod, talking to Cardinals about Freese
With perennially lofty expectations, the Yankees are hellbent on making the playoffs in 2014 after having missed them for just the second time since 1994. They will explore all of their options to upgrade that third base position, whether it be through free agency or a trade. The most recent third baseman to reportedly draw interest from the Yankees is David Freese of the St. Louis Cardinals.
The Cardinals have a versatile infielder in Matt Carpenter, who played mostly second base in 2013 but is perfectly capable of handling responsibilities at third. The Cardinals could send Freese to New York and slide Carpenter over to third base, then plug in 2011 first-round pick Kolten Wong at second base and probably not see too sharp of a decline in production from the infield.
As for the Yankees, Freese would come over as a sort of buy-low trade acquisition. Having put together a .262/.340/.381 line in 2013, Freese was down significantly from his career averages of .286/356/.427, so the Yankees would hope that the 30-year-old would bounce back and provide some nice insurance in their infield. Freese would be the starting third baseman if Rodriguez's suspension holds up, and would also probably play a good amount of third base with Rodriguez as the designated hitter if A-Rod is somehow absolved from his fairly blatant use of PEDs.
All trade rumors this early in the offseason are just that - rumors - but this potential deal makes some sense for both sides. That being said, expect to hear the Yankees linked to plenty of other players as the offseason moves along.