16 Years Ago
Well, it was made official on the 27th. We knew about it on Christmas Eve, back in the good old days when the Blue Jays would make some news for us to write about occasionally. Orlando Hudson and Miguel Batista went to the Arizona Diamondbacks, and Troy Glaus and Sergio Santos came to the Blue Jays.
The trade was a surprise because the Jays had Corey Koskie, Shea Hillenbrand, and Eric Hinske for the corner infield spots. Koskie had been a free agent signing before the 2005 season, but he had a tough season, hitting .249/.337/.398, missing 60 games with injuries. But he had two years left on his contract. So Koskie would be traded to the Brewers for Brian Wolfe in early January. The Jays also sent some money to Milwaukee. Unfortunately, Koskie missed most of 2006 with post-concussion syndrome, and he wouldn’t play in the MLB again.
Hillenbrand, famously, was traded mid-season 2006 after writing ‘the ship is sinking’ on the whiteboard in the clubhouse, fighting with John Gibbons and generally being a pain in the butt. Hinske was sold to the Red Sox in August of 2006 after hitting .264/.353/.513 in 84 games. One might have thought that numbers like that would entice someone to offer a player in return. Hinske became a bit of a good luck charm, playing for a team who made it to the World Series for three seasons in a row (2007-2009), winning a ring twice.
In Glaus, the Jays were getting a needed power bat. In 2005, we only had one player (Vernon Wells) with more than 20 home runs). Glaus would hit 38 home runs in 2006 and 20 in 2007. He missed a fair amount of time, in 2006, with plantar fasciitis. After the season, he asked to be traded away from the turf at Rogers Center, and we sent him to St. Louis for Scott Rolen. Santos spent a couple of seasons in our minor league system, playing short, but hitting like a pitcher. He moved on to the Twins and soon decided to make it as a pitcher. Sergio had a couple of good seasons pitching out of the pen, and he came back to the Jays, but he spent most of the time here injured or ineffective.
Hudson, traded to make room at second base for Aaron Hill, had three good seasons with the Diamondbacks, hitting .294/.365/.440 with 33 home runs, making two All-Star games, and winning 2 Gold Gloves with them. With Arizona, he put up a 10.5 bWAR. He went on to play for the Dodgers, Padres, and White Sox. Batista went 11-8 with 4.58 ERA for the Diamondbacks in 2006. He left as a free agent after the season. After that, he would play for the Mariners, Nationals, Cardinals, and Mets.
I’m going to call the trade a win, but mostly because we got Scott Rolen for Glaus. But then an infield of Hill at short, Koskie at third (avoiding the concussion), Hinske at first, with Hillenbrand and Russ Adams backing them up, might not have been the worst thing.
Unfortunately, handing the SS job to Russ Adams didn’t work out. It took until 2009 and Marco Scutaro before we had a solid player at the position (though John McDonald had his moments).