OK, there’s the second move. And it’s Troy Glaus. Excited now?
Signing a guy to play first base who has barely played first base and who’s coming off shoulder surgery merely underscores the prevailing thought from yesterday: That the Braves can’t operate at a high-dollar level. They have to find guys on the cheap — post-operative guys — and shuffle them around.
Troy Glaus is a big bopper only if we’re in a time warp. He last topped 40 home runs in 2001. He has had one 100-RBI season since 2002. (Though he did drive in 99 in 2008.) Maybe he’s the bridge to Freddie Freeman in 2011, but he’s not much more. He’s a career .255 hitter who gets hurt a lot, and this will be his fifth different team in seven seasons. And he’ll be playing a new position.
Give Frank Wren credit for being creative. He found a bat that none of us had really considered. But it’s possible that none of us had considered Troy Glaus as a first-base fit because he isn’t. When you introduce Glaus as your Big Bat, it tells us you never had a prayer of landing Jason Bay or Matt Holliday.
Tell me the truth: If the $9 million saved in the Vazquez-Cabrera trade allowed the Braves to sign Glaus, was that money well saved? To lose your best pitcher from 2009 and to land a guy who might be a platoon outfielder and a third baseman coming off surgery (plus a couple of young pitchers) … are the Braves better off now than they were two days ago?
I say no. I say the rotation has been weakened. (I also wonder what happens if a starting pitcher develops a bum shoulder.) I say the lineup hasn’t been strengthened in a way that will yield a major upgrade. I also think the Braves would have been better off with Adam LaRoche.
I know, I know. LaRoche is hunting more money and a longer contract. That’s what established players want. That’s why the Braves acquire so few of them.