/

Cards trade Freese

AP

Former World Series MVP David Freese was traded from 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.

St. Louis obtained a new starting center fielder in Peter Bourjos plus prospect Randal Grichuk, and 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.

Freese was the MVP of the 2011 NL Championship Series and the World Series, setting a major league record with 21 postseason RBIs and hitting a game-ending, 11th-inning home run in Game 6. He injured his back chasing a foul ball into the stands during spring training this year and never hit stride.

“David, growing up in St. Louis, this could not have been the easiest place to play,” Mozeliak said. “I do think he may be looking forward to a fresh start. This was not an easy year for him.”

Freese batted .262 with nine homers and 60 RBIs, dropoffs from career bests of 20 homers, 79 RBIs and a .293 average the previous year. Freese made $3.15 million and is eligible for salary arbitration.

The Angels were a match because they need a third baseman and Freese didn’t figure as the long-term solution at third for St. Louis. The Cardinals will move second baseman Matt Carpenter to third, opening a position for former top draft pick Kolten Wong.