If the Braves acquire first baseman Derrek Lee — and that’s a good move only if the Chicago Cubs’ first baseman doesn’t arrive in traction for his bad back — general manager Frank Wren has a question: What does he do with Troy Glaus?
Glaus has been a lightning rod almost from Day 1. First, he was an embarrassment (.194 with nine RBIs in April). Then he was a Godsend (.330 with 28 RBI in May). Now he’s pretty much flotsam again (.174 with two home runs and 15 RBIs in his last 46 games). He has grounded into a team-high 16 double plays and struck out his first three times up Tuesday night against Washington (he wound up going 1-for-5, with a meaningless eighth-inning RBI double in a 10-2 win).
Manager Bobby Cox remains loyal to Glaus, but he’s in the minority. So what are the Braves to do? Here are the options:
♦ RELEASE HIM: Glaus can’t be traded. So if the Braves simply want him off the payroll, they’ll have to simply say goodbye. His base salary ($1.75 million) is a non-factor. But he already has made an additional $950,000 in bonuses for roster and plate appearances (that’s $2.7 million combined). He has 466 plate appearances. His next incentive bonus ($350,000) kicks in at 500 plate appearances. There are other plateaus at 550 PA ($400,000) and 600 PA, which isn’t likely ($550,000). So the Braves could save some money on incentives.
♦ BENCH HIM: If the Braves want a potential power bat on the bench, they could simply make Glaus a reserve. This could appease Cox and leave open the possibility that extra rest would help Glaus’s ailing knees, potentially making him a viable option down the stretch. The built-in assumption there, however, is that he’s not already toast and still has something left to contribute. The other issue: Would you trust Glaus in a crucial at-bat in September or a postseason game?
♦ DISABLE HIM: Like benching Glaus, this would give him some needed rest. It also would put a stop sign on more incentive bonuses. If there comes a time when the Braves are confident Glaus is ready to contribute, then he could be activated, probably when rosters expand in September.
One final word on this subject: Many have you have screamed for the Braves to bring up prospect Freddie Freeman from Gwinnett. That’s understandable, given how he’s ripping up Triple-A. But it also seems clear that the Braves have some concerns about adding another 20-year-old to the roster during a playoff race (not to mention the financial aspect of starting the clock on Freeman’s arbitration window). Otherwise, Freeman would’ve been here already.
So what do you think? I’ll put up a poll but I also want to see your comments. If the Lee trade is completed, do the Braves release Glaus, bench him or disable him?
My vote, by the way: Disable him. It buys time and saves money.
Miss the past few blogs? No problem