St. Louis Cardinals: Ranking the 10 worst trades in the last 20 years
4. St. Louis Cardinals, Toronto Blue Jays exchange slugging third basemen.
Cardinals Receive: Troy Glaus
Blue Jays Receive: Scott Rolen
Rolen’s dissatisfaction with manager Tony La Russa and desire to get out of St. Louis were no secret, so the St. Louis Cardinals granted his wish and traded him for Glaus. The two players were All-Star third basemen multiple times in their careers, and they were each in their 30s. The trade seemed pretty even. Glaus had a little more power than Rolen did, but Rolen’s glove was far better than Glaus’.
Rolen took a bit to get going; he hit .262 with 11 home runs in 408 at-bats in his first season with Toronto. He found his stroke after that, hitting .320 for the Blue Jays with eight home runs in 338 at-bats. He was flipped to the Cincinnati Reds at the trade deadline, and in 2010 he hit .285 with 20 bombs, earning an All-Star appearance. He also won his eighth Gold Glove award.
Glaus did well in his first season with the Cardinals, hitting .270 with 27 home runs, and he even flashed a solid glove, but he had shoulder surgery at the beginning of the 2009 season and only accumulated 32 plate appearances. He was traded to the Atlanta Braves after the season, where he played one more year, then retired.
If there hadn’t been tension between Rolen and the team, this trade might have never happened, and Rolen could have given the Cardinals some more very good years at the hot corner. As it stood, Glaus gave way to David Freese after departing, who gave the team a couple of decent years. He did stuff in the 2011 postseason too.