Five years ago today, in the middle of what had been very slow January for Blue Jay news, the Jays traded Troy Glaus to the Cardinals for Scott Rolen. As Hugo said, in his post on the trade, it was two teams each trading off a player that didn't want to be with them anymore.
Glaus was having foot troubles (plantar fasciitis), which, he felt, were made worse by playing on the carpet covered concrete at Rogers Centre. Troy had a lot of power, he hit 58 home runs in his 2 seasons with the Jays (even though he had only played 115 games in 2007).
Rolen had been having problems of his own, he had missed 196 games over the previous 4 years with the Cardinals. He had a rocky relationship with manager Tony La Russa (sort of like Colby Rasmus). Scott hit just .265/.331/.398, with 8 home runs, in 2008, the season before the trade.
Glaus had a pretty good 2008 season with the Cards, hitting .270/.372/.483 with 27 home runs and 99 RBI in 151 games, but he played only 14 games in 2009 due to a number of injuries. He signed with the Braves, as a free agent, before the 2010 season and had a bit of a bounce back year, hitting .240/.344/.400 with 16 homers in 128 games, but that was the end of his career.
Rolen missed 47 games in 2008, starting the season on the DL. When he did play he hit .262/.349/.431 with 11 homers and 50 RBI, and played great defense. I don't think anyone would argue too much if I said he was the best defensive third baseman we've ever had. He also quickly became a fan favorite. His defense was a wonderful thing to watch. He played 88 games for the Jays, in 2009, hitting .320/.370/.476, before he was traded to the Reds for Edwin Encarnacion, Josh Roenicke and Zack Stewart.
At the time, the trade seemed like a pretty good one, especially considering that Rolen had wanted to get out of Toronto. Unfortunately, Roenicke didn't turn out to be of any value. Stewart though turned into a major piece of a complicated pair of trades that netted us Colby Rasmus. Edwin gave us some interesting moments. He wasn't exactly universally loved, until last year when he was our most valuable player.
In the seasons since the trade, Rolen has played 330 games for the Reds hitting .263/332/.438, with 36 home runs, 182 RBI and a WAR of 6.9. Edwin has played 423 games, with a .266/.344/.496 slash line, 88 home runs, 239 RBI and a WAR value of 7.2 I'm guessing that Rolen's career is more or less over, while Edwin is just getting warmed up.
Anyway I'm digressing a miles from the topic. I think it is clear that the Jays had the better part of the Rolen/Glaus trade, not so much because Rolen was that much better for the Jays than Glaus was for the Cards, but because we could trade Rolen younger player. Where would we have been without Edwin last year? Course we lost Edwin to the A's on waivers after the 2010 season, but signed him back as a free agent.
This turned out to be one of JP's good trades.