Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Market for Troy Glaus

As Matt Holliday and Jason Bay dominate the headlines on the free agent position player front, one name that we have not heard much from is Troy Glaus. Until now, that is:

Free agent Troy Glaus traveled to Los Angeles last week to see Dr. Lewis Yocum for a physical exam, and he's making the records available to all 30 clubs to show teams he's healthy, says's Jerry Crasnick.

"We wanted Troy to get an updated physical so clubs could be more comfortable with his condition," said Glaus' agent, Mike Nicotera. Glaus, who owns a horse farm in New Jersey, has been lifting weights and working out at big leaguer Jack Cust's facility in Flemington, N.J., with "no restrictions," according to Nicotera.

Glaus missed most of 2009 after undergoing shoulder surgery last January. He returned to play 14 games for St. Louis in September and October. Although Glaus is willing to log some DH at-bats next season, Nicotera said his preference is to land a full-time job at first base or third base. Glaus hit 27 homers and drove in 99 runs in 151 games with the Cardinals in 2008.
I'm sure there are plenty of teams out there who would be happy to bring Glaus aboard as a designated hitter or a platoon player, but he might have a tougher time finding a team willing to commit to him as a full time corner infielder given his injury history. Glaus only played in 14 games last season and failed to hit a single home run in any of his 32 at bats.

With that said, Glaus is a name player, who was one of the top power hitters in baseball and averaged 30 home runs a year from 2005-2008. In addition, Glaus played a steady third base for the Blue Jays in 2007 (0.9 UZR) and the Cardinals in 2008 (5.0 UZR), which is another plus for talent evaluators. There will be teams this winter will look at Glaus as a option to play first base, but Glaus does not have much experience playing the position (6 games).

Are there any teams on out there that would be willing to have Glaus play full time at either first base or third base? Let's take a look:

  • Orioles: The O's are looking for a corner infielder, who can hit for power to replace Melvin Mora and Glaus would seem to fit the bill here. Aside from Adam Jones, the O's are heavily stacked from the left side so Glaus could provide some balance to the potentially potent Orioles offense.
  • Twins: I think Glaus would be a great fit here because he would be surrounded by great hitters (Mauer, Morneau, Kubel) and as a result, the potential for a monster season is very high. If Glaus regains his health and stroke, then the Twins could have one of the strongest lineups in baseball. The Twins have been linked to free agent Joe Crede, but let's be honest here, Glaus offers far more upside than Crede.

  • Giants: Aside from Pablo Sandoval, the Giants really have no power whatsoever in their lineup, which is obviously a huge problem. The Giants limited payroll flexibility has prevented them from going after either of the two top power hitters on the market: Matt Holliday and Jason Bay. Glaus would be a low cost option for a Giants team that is looking for cheap power hitters that will only require a short term commitment.
  • Mariners: The Mariners have made a number of splashes so far, but they still have a glaring hole: power hitters. Glaus could provide the Mariners with a low cost power hitter, who could play first base should Russell Branyan become too expensive.
  • Braves: If the Braves strike out in their quest to re-sign Adam LaRoche, then Glaus might become a option at first base. The Braves have been searching for a right handed power hitter for most of the offseason, which is a need that Glaus could fill if he's healthy.
I would expect the market for Glaus to heat up sometime in January when a majority of the top free agents are off the market.

Where do you think Glaus will end up?

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