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Glaus to the Blue Jays

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Yesterday the Toronto Blue Jays trade for Troy Glaus and shortstop prospect Sergio Santos was completed, with the Jays sending defensive wiz Orlando Hudson along with closer/starter Miguel Batista to Arizona. This trade improves the Blue Jays chances of contending in the AL East, and certainly justifies the signings of A.J. Burnett and B.J. Ryan somewhat, since they alone would not make this team a contender. There is a problem though; in the press conference, it was made known that Troy Glaus would be given the job at third base to start the season, with Corey Koskie most likely moving elsewhere in the league. Which means in turn that either Shea Hillenbrand or Eric Hinske will be allowed to keep their job as the DH/backup 1B. I don't think I agree with this move; Glaus's big strength is his bat, and his defense has suffered ever since his significant injury a few years back. Take a look:

His mOPS was 22% above the league average, yet his Net Runs Above Average was only 7.68 per 100 games. He had a .292 EqA, but only a Rate2 of 92, which severely cut into his overall value. If his Rate2 had been 100, his NRAA would have been 16.68, a significant improvement that puts him around Bobby Crosby's value level rather than Jose Cruz's. Personally, I'd prefer if the Jays traded for someone at Crosby's run value level, and Glaus the DH is that player. Glaus the Third Basemen is only a few runs better than the 2005 version of Corey Koskie. That is another problem with the trade by the way; putting Aaron Hill at second base is not that much of an upgrade over Orlando Hudson, if it is one at all. They are both superior defensive players who hit somewhat below league average, although some believe Hill will improve his bat.

Hill will need to improve his hitting as well as play consistently spectacular defense in order to surpass Orlando Hudson's value at second. There would certainly be more value in keeping Hudson at second and moving Hill to either shortstop or third base, making Glaus the DH and dealing Koskie, but I'm sure Glaus was not an option if Hudson was not involved in the deal.

The Jays have improved their lineup, which was a necessary part of their plan, but lost a good deal on their defense at the hot corner, and also swapped out the best defensive second basemen in the league in exchange for a guy who is almost as good. The Glaus deal certainly helps Toronto, but I'm a stickler for efficient moves, and this doesn't appear to be one. Arizona made out pretty good though, dealing away a contract they no longer wanted along with an inconsistent shortstop prospect they no longer need with Stephen Drew around. Miguel Batista should help out their pitching staff; here's my comment on Batista from my Blue Jays review:

Miguel Batista's conversion to closer was a success in a relative sense. He was more useful than he had been as a starter in the Jays 2004 rotation at the back of the team's bullpen in 2005, and his peripherals improved: his walk rate was cut down a great deal, his strikeout rate climbed up both on a per 9 inning and a per plate appearance basis, and his peripheral ERA improved by 1/10th of a run. Oddly enough, his homerun rate has become progressively worse since he left Bank One Ballpark, which is much more of a bandbox than the Rogers Centre, although it can stake its own claim as a severe hitter's environment. With the signing of B.J. Ryan as the Jays new closer, look for Batista to be dealt to one of the losers of that sweepstakes.

I think both teams got what they wanted out of this deal; the Jays dealt spare parts of theirs to the D'backs in exchange for a bat that they sorely needed to make their lineup better than average, and the D'backs traded away a contract they did not want for two players who are extremely useful to them. A good trade, but one that I wish had involved different players on the Jays end in order to make their team as good as possible with the resources they already possessed.