Today in Blue Jays history, Troy Glaus traded for Scott Rolen
By Evan Stack1 month ago
In recent seasons, the Toronto Blue Jays and the St. Louis Cardinals have been quite the compatible trade partners. The Cardinals have given us the likes of Jordan Hicks, Colby Rasmus, Randal Grichuk, Aledmys Diaz and several more, but today marks sixteen years since another deal between these two. On January 14, 2008, the Cardinals traded third baseman Scott Rolen to the Blue Jays in exchange for another third baseman in Troy Glaus.
Although just a one-for-one deal, this trade was composed of two players with decorated resumes. To that point in their respective careers, Glaus was a four-time All-Star and a two-time Silver Slugger award winner, while Rolen had won a Rookie of the Year with five All-Star game appearances and seven Gold Glove awards.
There was a motive on both ends of the deal to trade these two well-established players. Let’s start with Rolen, whose relationship with then-Cardinals manager Tony La Russa was no secret to the public. Between La Russa benching Rolen in the 2006 NLDS, Rolen being the only Cardinals player to vote “no” on if La Russa should return to St. Louis in 2008, and so much more, both parties were in the midst of a relationship that could not be repaired.
Once La Russa was issued a two-year contract extension through the 2009 season, Rolen had requested a trade, even telling the Cardinals that he would waive his no-trade clause so that he could get moved. Finding a trade partner for Rolen was not an easy task given his contract, and a potential trade with the Milwaukee Brewers never came to fruition during the 2007 Winter Meetings. However, the Blue Jays came into the picture towards the end of the Winter Meetings, entertaining the idea of acquiring Rolen.
That brings us to Glaus, who had spent the prior two seasons with the Blue Jays. He slashed .256/.360/.496 with an .856 OPS, 58 homers, and 166 RBIs in Toronto, but he was unfortunately sidelined towards the end of his final season with the Jays due to foot surgery. Glaus had recently expressed his disdain with playing on artificial turf, presenting himself as an ideal option for the Blue Jays to offer St. Louis. Furthermore, Glaus had always dreamt of playing for the Cardinals, so this was a deal that would ultimately benefit both players.
Like Rolen, Glaus had to waive a no-trade clause of his own, but he was also asked by the Cardinals to exercise his option for the 2009 season, a request to which he agreed. On January 14, the trade was called complete.
During his first season with the Cardinals, Glaus hit 27 home runs with 99 RBIs, but he unfortunately missed the majority of the 2009 season due to right shoulder surgery. He would spend the 2010 season with the Atlanta Braves in what would be the final season of his career.
Rolen spent about a year and a half with the Blue Jays totaling 19 home runs and 93 RBIs across 203 total games. Rolen fought through multiple injuries in 2008 to his shoulder and his right middle finger, but he still managed to play in 115 games. The shoulder injury was one he had dealt with multiple times previously, and it forced him to adjust his batting stance in order to protect the shoulder as much as he could.
He got off to an exemplary start in the 2009 campaign, slashing .320/.370/.476 with an .846 OPS, and he garnered enough interest to be traded at the midseason trade deadline. This is where the Blue Jays arguably won the Glaus trade, as they wound up dealing Rolen to the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for Zach Stewart, Josh Roenicke, and our boy, Edwin Encarnacion.
Despite having a short tenure in Toronto, he was recently added to the list of Blue Jays players to make the National Baseball Hall of Fame, as he was inducted in January of 2023.
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