By Chris Kline
December 28, 2005
The Blue Jays made another move in their effort to make a big leap in the American League East, landing the power bat they sought in third baseman Troy Glaus.
Toronto also received infielder Sergio Santos from the Diamondbacks, in exchange for righthander Miguel Batista and infielder Orlando Hudson.
In Glaus, the Jays get a much-needed bat in the middle of the order–something they haven’t had since Carlos Delgado departed via free agency in 2004. Glaus led the Diamondbacks in homers (37) and RBIs (97) in 2005, despite being limited to 149 games because of a strained tendon in his left knee in his only season with Arizona.
He was the 2002 World Series MVP for Anaheim, a season after he drove in a career-high 111 RBIs. Glaus led the AL with 47 homers in 2000.
Glaus, 29, waived his no-trade clause in order to head north of the border, and is expected to play third on the turf at Rogers Centre. That means more deals are likely on the horizon because the Blue Jays already have holdovers Corey Koskie, Shea Hillenbrand and Eric Hinske as corner infield/DH candidates, not to mention new acquisition Lyle Overbay.
Glaus is due to make $10.5 million in 2006, the second year of a four-year, $45 million contract he signed last winter. Toronto has been one of the most active teams on the market this offseason, expanding its payroll from $45 million to $75 million for 2006.
The Jays also get a prospect with potential impact for their farm system in the deal. Santos struggled through 2005 at Triple-A Tucson and didn’t get his average above .200 until late May, and he hit only one home run after July 1 and finished the season hitting .239-12-68 for the Sidewinders.
While he slumped at the plate, the 22-year-old shortstop improved significantly in the field and still has premium tools. Santos has soft hands and an above-average arm, and he made great strides in his reads and work on double plays. Santos overreacted to his slow start and fell apart mechanically at the plate, leaving him susceptible to inside pitches and inept against lefthanders (.148 average). The first-round pick in 2002 doesn’t have good speed, and might be limited to third base down the road.
In return, the Diamondbacks get two accomplished big leaguers in Batista and Hudson. Batista, 34, returns to Arizona, where he won 29 games from 2001-03, including going 11-8, 3.36 during the Diamondbacks’ 2001 World Series run. He moved to the bullpen in Toronto last season, taking over the closer role and led the club with 31 saves.
Hudson, 25, played his first season in the big leagues in 2003. A career .271 hitter, the Blue Jays made him a 43rd-round pick in 1997 and signed him the next spring as a draft-and-follow. He is better known for his glovework than his bat, and won his first Gold Glove in 2005 after leading major league second basemen with a .991 fielding percentage.