Rolen and Glaus Flip at Hot Corners

by Michael Egnak on January 14, 2008 @ 07:53:36 PDT

 


Jordan Bastian, of MLB.com, reports the St. Louis Cardinals have acquired Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Troy Glaus in exchange for third baseman Scott Rolen. Team doctors have signed off on the trade.

Rolen was saddled with left shoulder injuries again last year, causing him to undergo a third procedure on the same shoulder in three years and ending another season prematurely. After belting 34 home runs in 2004, Rolen has managed just 35 home runs since his shoulder problems started in 2005. In his one healthy season in 2006, Rolen did manage to hit .296 with 22 home runs while slugging .518. However, he's managed just 13 home runs, a .255 average and a .393 slugging percentage in 2005 and 2007, when he was forced to miss time because of his shoulder.

Now, Rolen will take over at the hot corner for the Blue Jays, where he will be reunited with former teammate, shortstop David Eckstein. When healthy, the former All-Star is capable of putting up solid offensive numbers and Gold Glove caliber defense. Unfortunately, health has been an issue with him as of late and Toronto will have to hope that Rolen's shoulder will hold up over the remaining three years of his contract.

Rolen is capable of being a starting third baseman for fantasy teams when he is healthy. Still, Rolen should be drafted as a very low-end starting option, and he should be backed up with a solid third baseman just in case the injury bug strikes him again. Persistent shoulder injuries combined with an artificial turf home could be a recipe for more stints on the disabled list.

Glaus, who also dealt with injuries last year, will take over at third base for the Cardinals. Glaus needed to get through leg and foot injuries while with Toronto, but neither injury forced him to miss too much time. He was held to just 115 games in 2007, but he never sat out more than 100 games in a season like Rolen did in 2005. Glaus also brings some serious power with him, hammering 38 home runs in 2006 and 20 home runs in 385 at-bats in 2007.

Glaus also gives the team another power bat to protect first baseman Albert Pujols, something the team lacked in 2007. Right fielder Rick Ankiel and left fielder Chris Duncan are emerging offensively, but Glaus is a safer bet to add at least 20 home runs to the team's lineup and possibly break the 30-home run mark for the season.

However, his average is an issue as he has never hit higher than .284 in a season and his career average is just .254. He's also lacking in the defensive department, as he has never won a Gold Glove in his 10-year career. Also, Glaus has a cloud of steroid suspicion hanging over him, and the league's plans to discipline those who have involvement there still hang in the balance.

Heading into 2008, Glaus should be viewed as a solid starting option for fantasy teams. He brings solid power, something many fantasy owners look for from their corner infielders. However, owners who draft Glaus will want to make sure they have high-average hitters elsewhere on their fantasy team.

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About Michael Egnak

Michael Egnak is a Hot Off The Wire Analyst at KFFL and has been with the company since 2005. Covering both NFL and MLB, Egnak is also a key contributor to KFFL's fantasy services.

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