Monday, January 14, 2008

Major Transactions Happening In The MLB

In the middle of the football playoffs, people such as myself tend to forget that other sports exist. Still, major trades and acquisitions have been occurring in recent weeks in the MLB:

The St. Louis Cardinals have reached agreement on a trade with the Toronto Blue Jays that will send third baseman Scott Rolen to the Blue Jays for third baseman Troy Glaus, several major league sources said.

The deal is contingent upon the two players passing physical exams Monday, sources said.

According to a source with knowledge of the trade, the Cardinals only signed off on the deal after Glaus agreed to exercise his $11.25 million option for 2009. St. Louis management didn't want to give up three years of Rolen for only one year of Glaus, so Glaus had to commit to the option year as part of the deal.

Both players were also required to waive no-trade clauses.

A source told's Jayson Stark that Toronto will be responsible for the three years and $33 million left on Rolen's contract, while St. Louis will assume the $24.5 million owed Glaus through 2009. Since no cash is involved in the trade, it appears that no approval from commissioner Bud Selig's office is required.

Rolen, 32, is a career .283 hitter and seven-time Gold Glove winner with Philadelphia and St. Louis. Only Brooks Robinson, with 16 Gold Gloves, and Mike Schmidt, with 10, have won the award more often at third base.

Rolen has struggled with shoulder problems the last two seasons, and had a well-publicized falling out with manager Tony La Russa that set trade talks in motion.

Glaus, 31, has 277 career homers in 10 seasons with the Los Angeles Angels, Arizona Diamondbacks and Blue Jays. He hit 20 homers and drove in 62 runs in 115 games with Toronto last season before undergoing surgery in September to repair a nerve problem in his left foot.

I love this trade because I'm a big Troy Glaus fan even though he has been slacking in the numbers lately. Here's some simple math: Albert Pujols + Troy Glaus = Major Power.

Also in the MLB (and this saddens me as an Atlanta Braves Fan), the Atlanta Braves have reached a preliminary agreement to acquire center fielder Mark Kotsay from the Oakland Athletics, filling the hole created by the departure of Andruw Jones. The deal will be finalized once Kotsay passes a physical for Atlanta, where he is expected to fly to on Sunday, and assuming the commissioner's office approves the cash negotiated to be exchanged in the deal, sources say.

In return for Kotsay, the Braves are trading pitcher Joey Devine, and Oakland will assume $5.325 million of the $7.325 million owed to the center fielder for this year.

Kotsay, 32, played in 56 games in 2007 after having back surgery, hitting .214 with 15 extra-bases hits in 206 at-bats. In 2005, before Kotsay began having serious back trouble, he batted .280, with 51 extra-base hits and a .325 on-base percentage.

He has rated highly as a center fielder, and the Braves are trying to find a temporary center fielder for at least the start of the 2008 season, or until they deem top-prospect Jordan Schaefer ready to take over the position permanently. Even still, c'mon, Mark Kotsay? Is that the best the Braves can do to replace the almighty powerful Andruw Jones? Now you know this team is trying to rebuild.

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