The Los Angeles Angels acquired third baseman David Freese and relief pitcher Fernando Salas from the St. Louis Cardinals in a trade that sent center fielder Peter Bourjos and outfield prospect Randal Grichuk to the Cardinals, the teams confirmed Friday.
Freese hit .293 with 20 home runs for the Cardinals in 2012, which was his third straight season hitting .293 or better. But his batting average slipped to .262 with nine homers in 138 games in 2013.
He was the World Series and National League Championship Series MVP in 2011 when the Cardinals won the World Series.
Freese became expendable because the Cardinals feel prospect Kolten Wong is ready to take over at second base. Matt Carpenter, who played second base for the Cardinals this past season, would shift to third base.
Bourjos hit .274 with three homers in 55 games with the Angels this past season.
Salas figures to be a middle reliever for the Angels after going 0-3 with a 4.50 ERA in 28 innings for the Cardinals last season.
The 22-year-old Grichuk was the Angels' first-round pick in 2009. He hit 256 with 22 home runs for the Double-A Arkansas Travelers in 2013.