Tuesday, January 15, 2008

(Officially) Hello, Goodbye

With the health and economic issues resolved, we can officially look forward to Scott Rolen donning the silver and black (groan) of the Blue Jays this year.

What's particularly fun about this trade is the fact that it is a good old fashioned fantasy league challenge trade: your guy for our guy, and let's see who does better.

Not that we want to start making excuses already, but before anyone (looking your way, Professor Griff) starts to compare Glaus and Rolen's power numbers this year, let's remember that Glaus is a mistake hitter who crushes pitches that errantly wander into the strike zone. Playing in the NL Central, he'll get his share, and will (if his health accommodates) hit 30 bombs or more in Saint Lou. (He might hit 30 off the Pirates' Zach Duke alone.)

Of course, we'll have to factor in the the magical healing power of Busch's natural grass surface, which will not only make Glaus run like the wind and slug 150 points higher, but will also make him six inches taller. And when he runs on said magical grass, he'll make that Six Million Dollar Man Steve Austin ch-ch-ch-ch sound.

Rolen's contributions will be a little harder to measure at first blush. He'll get to more balls at third and he'll run the bases far better than Lurch could with his plantar fascism. He'll be lucky to hit 20 homers, but he'll also be vaguely useful against right-handers.

Reactions from both sides
  • The Drunk Jays Fans have a good wrap up on the trade, which elicited barely coherent comments from a few vaguely literate Cardinals fans.
  • Deadspin empresario and Cards apologist Will Leitch said goodbye to Rolen, which opened up the Gawkerblog's comments to the barely literate hipster bourgeoisie that skulk around those parts. (Sample comment: "Troy Glaus just reinjured his shoulder while patting himself on the back for getting out of Canada.")
  • Viva El Birdos (shouldn't that be los birdos?) have already indexed the seasons for each player's new ballpark, and have figured out that Rolen is going to slug .319. So since that's settled, we might as well shut down the blog until next year.
  • The Post-Dispatch's Jeff Gordon has turned on Rolen, essentially calling him a malcontent and ne'erdowell who wrote his ticket out of town by not bowing to the superior knowledge of Tony "Red Light" LaRussa. (What's especially rich is the "why would anyone want to go to Toronto?" comment...oh, who knows? Maybe he'd just like to get the hell out of the Midwest. It's not inconceivable.)


the ack said...

30 minutes later, I'm still fantasizing about slapping Jeff Gordon across that smug face. "Canada....why would anybody be thrilled to leave 'heaven on earth' for Canada???"

Joanna said...

And anyway, the Cardinals would be in a struggle for fourth in the AL East, so eat it, Jeff.

J23 said...

As a Blue Jays fan, I love the potential of this deal, for both the Jays and Cardinals.

First off, I must say J.P. Ricciardi has earned respect this offseason, in which he stated that the under-performing Blue Jays of 2007 was going to stay the same in 2008. The addition of David Eckstein and Rolen instantly provides winning credibility and chemistry, making the infield possibly one of the best defenses in baseball. With these moves, the Ricciardi Paul Godfrey tandem is working out much better than the Toronto Maple Leaf Mess.

The Blue Jays already had similar players in Glaus & Frank Thomas. The Thomas Factor should be a strong debating point. They were too similar - both high power guys that ran with pianos in their pockets. I appreciated Glaus, but the Glaus Thomas combo wasn’t working. By moving Glaus for a player of his calibre, is already a success for the lacklustre lineup. Rolen is significantly faster, has lineup versatility, and adds a great glove. Ideally, Rolen will hopefully wake up from his recent seasons to post career numbers by stepping up his game playing in the American League East.

The Cardinals meanwhile, did themselves a favour, and got rid of a bad situation with Tony LaRussa and were still able to get quality in return. The Albert Pujols Glaus 3 4 tandem should be in the category of the Ortiz Ramirez pair, especially with Glaus going back to the National League.

But of course, the absolute number one factor, is health. If both players are healthy, then both teams win this challenge trade. If health is an issue, all this analysis goes to wash. I speak from the David Wells Mike Sirotka experience.

Now, I think the Cardinals should trade Albert Pujols and Adam Kennedy to the Blue Jays for chemistry purposes.

(I still would like to have Orlando Hudson & Carlos Delgado though…)

sager said...

To be fair to Gordon, he wrote, "Why would anybody be thrilled to leave a recent World Series champion to play in Toronto?" (Emphasis mine.)

At the same time, yes, you can read into it that Gordon is pandering to the yokels who want to believe no sane human being could possibly find something in Seattle or Toronto that he couldn't find in St. Louis.

Darren Priest said...

Did anyone see this coming? I was happy when Glaus came to town and I am even happier to have Rolen. As I look at the shelf above my desk, I have to wonder if Rolen will warrant the McFarlane treatment in a Blue Jays uniform.

Now if only we could swap AJ Burnett and prospects for Johan Santana.

Jonathan said...

Amazing! J.P. managed to craft possibly one of the best defenses in baseball out of the ruins of, well...the best infield defense in baseball.