TORONTO — All that is holding up the Scott Rolen-for-Troy Glaus trade is those pesky physicals, which are set for Monday. So, barring any lingering red flags in Rolen’s left shoulder or Glaus’ left foot, an official announcement should come on Monday or Tuesday.
It also appears as though this is a straight-up one-for-one swap with no additional money besides the contracts being exchanged. If that’s indeed the case, the Commissioner’s Office doesn’t need to put the ol’ stamp of approval on the deal to get it done.
So, Toronto and St. Louis exchanged risks. I don’t see this being a move that’s overwhelmingly good or bad for either club, but more of a win-win situation for the players. Glaus, while happy in Toronto, gets to move to a grass playing field in St. Louis. Rolen gets away from his escalating feud with Cards skipper Tony La Russa.
The money is about the same tied to each player, though Rolen has three years left to Glaus’ two. Word is that the Cards would only do the deal when Glaus agreed to kick in his 2009 player option. St. Louis gets a potentially powerful bat to slide behind Albert Pujols in the lineup and Toronto gets a slick glove and versatile bat to add to its lineup.
When healthy (man, I’m tired of writing that with this team), Rolen might be the best fielding third baseman in the game. He and second baseman Aaron Hill should help mask anything Toronto might’ve lost on defense by making the switch to David Eckstein from John McDonald.
Offensively, Rolen hasn’t launched as many homers as Glaus annually, but he’s performed better in virtually every other category:
Rolen, 32 — .283 AVG, .372 OBP, .507 SLG, 28 HR and 109 RBI per 162 games
Glaus, 31 — .254 AVG, .358 OBP, .500 SLG, 36 HR and 101 RBI per 162 games
I may have said it in my last post, but I, for one, am a fan of this trade. I wasn’t looking forward to seeing Frank Thomas and Troy Glaus hit back-to-back in the lineup, solely because when both are on base it really limits what the Jays can do on the basepaths. Too many times last year, Toronto’s lack of speed made them a station-to-station offense.
As much as injuries took a toll on the lineup, this was a part of the problem, too. Rolen brings a little more speed to the group. I’m thinking a lineup consisting of Alex Rios, Vernon Wells, Thomas, Lyle Overbay, Rolen and Hill in the Nos. 2-7 spots (maybe not necessarily in that order) should bode better for run production. Time will tell.
There’s always the outside chance that those medicals could derail this whole thing. Or, maybe the physicals will be fine, but the injuries might still be an issue during the year. Who knows? You saw how trying to hit with a bum left shoulder affected Wells last season.