A Rolen Stone Gathers Troy Glaus
The site is back up, so it's time to chime in on everyone's favourite challenge trade. There are 4 reasons to like this deal:
1) Scott Rolen is a more well-rounded player than Troy Glaus and does just about everything better than Glaus except hit home runs.
2) He hits righties better than Glaus and the Jays have struggled mightily against right-handers.
3) Rolen is a seven-time Gold Glove winner, and gives the Jays an awfully impressive defensive infield.
4) Rolen is locked up for the next 3 seasons (at $36 million, which isn't nearly as expensive as it used to be) - awfully useful for an organization without an incumbent at 3B.
There is one large reason NOT to like this trade, and that is the status of Rolen's shoulder which, for all the optimism of the medical reports, is still unknown. If he slugs .398 again, that's a serious problem. Then again, a healthy Rolen who had hit his career averages of .283/.372/.507 in 2007 would not have been available straight up for Troy Glaus, who isn't exactly the picture of health himself.
Players the calibre of Rolen, that is Hall of Fame-calibre players, rarely break down at 32. If you're looking for a feel-good story about a back-from-the-dead National League third baseman in his early thirties, look no further than Mike Lowell, who hit .236/.298/.360 for the Marlins before being resurrected in Fenway. And Lowell isn't nearly the player than Rolen is.
Glaus played well in Toronto, and it's to his credit that only now, after the trade is complete, has it come out that he asked for a trade some time ago to escape the artificial turf of the Rogers Centre. Blue Jays brass is probably somewhat relieved that there will no longer be any Troy Glaus steroid questions in spring training. Yes, there will be some about Rolen's shoulder. But the shoulder that Jays' fans should be worried about belongs to Vernon Wells - because if the franchise player doesn't rebound from his 2007 woes and remains a .245/.304/.402 hitter (at an albatross-like $17 million), it won't matter WHAT Rolen hits.