If the Blue Jays won't give us any current news, I guess I'm doomed to write about the past. This trade was a much better one that the one that got us Mike Sirotka. The Cardinals sent us Scott Rolen for Troy Glaus. Although the trade was made official on January 14, 2008, we knew about it a couple of days before and Hugo (miss you Hugo, follow the bread crumb trail back to us) wrote about it on the 12th.
This was one of those terrific challenge trades that you rarely see. Straight one for one, third baseman for third baseman. They were about the same age, Troy 31, Scott 32. Both power hitters. Two of the best at their position.
Neither player was happy with his team. Glaus had plantar fascitis which he figured was caused by the turf at Rogers Centre. He wanted to move somewhere that had grass.
Rolen? He was coming off a down year and he wasn't getting along with Tony LaRussa. SB Nation St. Louis wrote about their problems:
Of all this clubhouse drama I think this the Scott Rolen situation is most characteristic of Tony La Russa's failings as a manager. What frustrates and excites about La Russa is that he operates within a much narrower style than most managers, who seem to have only a fuzzy effect on team composition and behavior. La Russa imported his tense, indignant, constant-vigilance style from Oakland and he's kept it going ever since, through 14 years of player and front-office changes. When players buy into it there's a sense that something special is happening, that they're put into positions where they're able and obligated to succeed.
But it doesn't seem especially compatible with strong or vastly different personalities. Scott Rolen plays baseball like he is demonstrating it for people who didn't quite hear him right the first time he tried to explain things. When he hits a home run, he puts his head down and sprints around the bases; when the ball is hit his way he reacts instantly, makes an astounding play, and then puts his head down: Now you try it. His intensity is completely internalized; it doesn't have much in common with La Russa's almost paranoiac, external variety.
While Rolen was too perfect for it to matter much they got along fine. But after his shoulder problems took root La Russa had decisions to make, and his choices often clashed with Rolen's. And that was the end of it. Mozeliak's challenge trade for Troy Glaus worked out in 2008-Glaus was outstanding, and Rolen really did look done-but more recent events have lost him the trade. Managers are all about trade-offs; systems have costs and benefits, and assuming La Russa doesn't run Rasmus out of town in the offseason this was the steepest cost yet.
This was a trade we won.
Troy had one really good season with the Cardinals, hitting .270/.372/.483 with 27 home runs and 99 RBI. The next year he missed most of the season with injuries, only playing in 14 games. After the season, the Cards let Troy leave as a free agent.
Scott missed the start of the 2009 season, with an injury of his own, a broken finger from spring training and he missed more time with a shoulder injury later in the season. He hit .262/.349/.431 with 11 home runs and played great defense. In 2009 he was hitting .320/.370/.476 on July 31st, when he was traded to the Reds for Josh Roenicke, Zach Stewart and a throw in, someone named Edwin Encarnacion. I wonder what happened to him?
Rolen’s on the Hall of Fame ballot this year. I’m interested to see what the Writers’ think of him. As long as he stays on the ballot, I think he could gain support over the years.