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A thought on the Rolen/Glaus trade

I'm guessing that most Phillies fans took the news of the Cardinals-Blue Jays trade that sent Scott Rolen north of the border with some degree of satisfaction. Rolen, of course, is notorious in Philadelphia for his fights with manager Larry Bowa, and his statements disdain for the organization and the fans on his way out of town in 2002 and periodically thereafter. His gushing delight at playing for St. Louis--or, as he called it, "Heaven"--has long grated on Phillies diehardsl there's more than a little schadenfreude to be enjoyed from the fact that Rolen's relationship with Tony LaRussa went so far south that he's willing to brave the artificial turf of Toronto just to get away.

But it's the other guy in the trade whom I'm thinking about. Troy Glaus isn't the defender Rolen is, but his right-handed power has produced 95 home runs in the last three seasons even as a series of nagging injuries kept Glaus on the sidelines for 70 games over that span. (Yes, he was involved in steroid allegations--but that was during his Angels tenure, which ended in 2004. He's clean now.) Glaus has a reasonable contract--he's owed $24 million for the next two years.

Why weren't the Phillies in on him? I guess it could be argued that they didn't have a match; obviously they had no third baseman to send back, unless Blue Jays GM J.P. Ricciardi has an as-yet unannounced love for Wes Helms. But there could have been a deal with a third team, and I for one think Rolen is a worse health risk going forward than Glaus: his back won't hold up well on that turf, and this is after missing about 170 games over the last three seasons. His contract is also more onerous than the one Toronto is shedding: Rolen is owed: three years, $36 million. That could be a lot of dead money sitting in the trainer's office.

Maybe this is unfair on my part: it's more than possible that Ricciardi figured Rolen's upside was worth the risk, or that the Phillies considered Glaus's health issues and decided he didn't merit serious pursuit. But while Pat Gillick and Ruben Amaro blithely prepare to go into 2008 with the less than formidable Helms/Dobbs/Bruntlett job-share at the hot corner--or ponder whether to ink the out-tastic Pedro Feliz--it's frustrating to see a legit 30-homer solution like Glaus change uniforms without any indication the Phils so much as nibbled.