Jays Trade Six of One for Half a Dozen of the Other
Great news, Jays fans! No more sleepless nights thinking about Troy Glaus’ knees/heel. Get ready for the recurring nightmare that is Scott Rolen’s shoulder! The only people who really know who won this trade are doctors. All that really matters is whether Rolen’s scar tissue vs. Troy’s Plantar Fascitis. Dwarfing all OPS comparisons or whatever is the % chance that Rolen gets his back speed back vs. the probability that Glaus will someday be able to run to first base without grimacing in pain so much he makes you do the same.
On the one hand, Glaus seems to be able to better play through his injuries- the last two seasons he has been all but in a wheelchair by the second half and still put up respectable numbers. On the other hand he’s had more of them and you could think his body is just breaking down, no thanks to the field turf at the RC.
Otherwise they are two very similar players. One year apart (doesn’t everyone always think Glaus is an aging veteran? He’s 31!), Scott Rolen gets on base more but hits for less power. Despite all the reports gushing over Rolen’s defense and his closet full of Gold Gloves (Rotoworld goes so far as to say “Cardinals pitchers would all see increases in their ERAs with the switch from Rolen to Glaus.”), Glaus when healthy is only slightly behind him- he’s an above-average third baseman and probably one of the most underrated fielders in the league.
Unfortunately when we try to look at the defensive measurements other than fielding percentage for last season, there’s a problem. The two different companies who sit in the stands and mark where every hit goes don’t agree with each other about how well he fielded last year. One says Glaus was very good and the other says he was terrible. But we can go back a year and see that Glaus is still up there with the best in the league. Anyway, this is an minor upgrade- but it doesn’t count as extra enticing just because the Jays already have one of the best defenses in the league.
Interestingly, Glaus turned his player option into a guaranteed year as part of the deal, as well as agreeing to waive his no-trade clause. I guess that’s what raised his value all the way to that of Chris Capuano, the other player the St. Cardinals were looking to trade Rolen for. So much for ripping off a deal desperate to trade him because of his feud with La Russa. This is a much better deal for St. Louis that that one with the Brewers, although it is kind of strange to deal one player with so many question marks for another.
But who wins this deal? Who knows. There are so many things we don’t know about the truth of each players physical state. Troy could be pretty much over his PF, or the need for the nerve-decompression surgery could be a sign of deeper problems. Apparently his bone spur he had was caused by the wearing the wrong size shoes, but who knows…Rolen’s scar tissue could be just a hiccup after his shoulder surgery (and his expected it to be stronger last year instead of wearing down towards the end), or it could bother him forever. Either of these guys are not far past their primes and could put up monster seasons or crash and burn in 2008.
- Update. Ok, that’s really weird. An article in the Globe published after this blog post pretty much says the exact same thing and even includes the title in the first paragraph. It also confirms that “Glaus … is bothered by a foot condition (plantar fasciitis) that some Blue Jays officials believe will never really improve.” And the Jays get 3-4 million.