ST. LOUIS -- Scott Rolen was traded from the
St. Louis Cardinals to the Toronto Blue Jays on Monday for Troy Glaus in a
swap of All-Star third basemen that was finalized after both
players passed physicals.
Rolen became the second St. Louis star to join Toronto in the
offseason. The Blue Jays signed former Cardinals shortstop
David Eckstein, the MVP of the 2006 World Series, to a one-year contract
The 32-year-old Rolen hit a total of only 35 home runs the last
three years while being hindered by a left shoulder injury that has
required three operations. He and manager Tony La Russa have
clashed since the 2006 postseason, when the manager benched Rolen.
The Cardinals postponed a formal news conference until Wednesday
due to the weekend death of Marty Hendin, the team's vice president
of community relations. For now, La Russa wanted to keep his
"Our organization is pretty shook up over Marty," La Russa
said. "But Troy fits us really well.
"And even though there were problems I was looking forward to
being with Scott, because I think he's going to play well whether
it was for us or someone else."
Rolen requested a trade after last season.
La Russa, who agreed to a two-year contract extension in
October, held a hard line on the Rolen situation at the winter
meetings last month. La Russa said then that if Rolen played hard,
he'd be in the lineup and if he didn't, he'd be on the bench.
"If he doesn't like it, he can quit," La Russa said.
The 31-year-old Glaus was hampered by a bad left foot last
season while hitting 20 homers in 115 games. Playing on grass in
St. Louis rather than artificial turf in Toronto could be
beneficial for Glaus, who totaled 75 homers in 2005-06 and has a
pair of 40-homer seasons.
Both Rolen and Glaus underwent season-ending surgery in
September. Rolen's procedure cleaned up scar tissue that had
limited mobility, while Glaus had a ruptured plantar fascia.
Glaus has begun a running program and plans to start hitting next week.
"From our perspective, he looked real good," Cardinals team
physician Dr. George Paletta said. "I don't expect anything should
get in the way of him getting ready for Opening Day."
Glaus is a 10-year veteran, all but one year in the American
League. He had 37 homers and 97 RBIs with a .258 average for the
Arizona Diamondbacks in 2005.
That year he batted .650 (13-for-20) against the Cardinals a
homer and four RBIs, while going 7-for-9 -- all singles -- in old
Last year, SI.com reported Glaus received steroids from
Signature Pharmacy between September 2003 and May 2004. On Dec. 6,
Major League Baseball said it found insufficient evidence to
Rolen batted .265 with eight homers and 58 RBIs in 112 games
The Cardinals will give Cesar Izturis, signed to a one-year free
agent deal in November, the first chance to replace Eckstein at
Rolen has three years and $36 million to go on an eight-year,
$90 million deal signed in 2003, while Glaus is due $12 million
this year with an $11.5 million player option for 2009.
A source with knowledge of the trade told ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick that the Cardinals only signed off on the deal after Glaus agreed to exercise his 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.
Rolen has five 100-RBI seasons and four seasons with 30 or more
homers. Before the relationship deteriorated, La Russa often said
he'd never seen a better defensive third baseman, but Rolen's
offense has declined since a collision with Dodgers first baseman
Hee-Seop Choi in May 2005.
The last three years, Rolen has missed 176 games. Most Cardinals
wanted La Russa back for a 13th season, and Rolen was one of the
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.