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Braves take smart risk with Glaus over LaRoche

Dec 23, 2009, 11:52 AM EDT

I’m not a big fan of yesterday’s Javier Vazquez-for-Melky Cabrera (and prospects) swap from Atlanta’s point of view, but using some of the money saved on the deal to sign Troy Glaus to an incentive-laden one-year pact makes plenty of sense for the Braves.
Adam LaRoche was fantastic for the Braves after coming over in a July 31 trade for Casey Kotchman, hitting .325/.401/.557 with 12 homers and 40 RBIs in 57 games. No doubt Atlanta hoped to re-sign him, but with LaRoche reportedly looking for a three-year deal in the neighborhood of $30 million the Braves were absolutely right to move on.
LaRoche’s excellent second half led to his hitting .277/.355/.488 with 25 homers overall last season, which is remarkably similar to his hitting .270/.340/.500 with 25 homers in 2008. Toss in good defense at first base and that makes him a solidly above average all-around first baseman, but at 30 years old he’s not the type of guy at whom a cash-strapped team should be throwing $30 million.
Glaus missed nearly all of 2009 with shoulder problems and that makes him a question mark for 2010, but by moving from third base to first base his throwing is much less of an issue and he batted .270/.372/.483 with 27 homers in 2008. In fact, prior to the shoulder injury Glaus had posted an OPS above .800 in nine straight seasons, batting .259/.366/.513 during that time. He’s definitely a risk, but if healthy Glaus should be very similar to (and perhaps even slightly better than) LaRoche offensively for a fraction of the cost.

  1. Dale Holden - Dec 24, 2009 at 2:12 PM

    Have you lost your mind. A. L. Is the man for the job of first ae base.

  2. Michael - Dec 24, 2009 at 7:33 PM

    I couldn’t disagree more. As a loyal Braves fan, I’m really fed up with them taking the cheap way out. Yeah, LaRoche would have cost more. But the numbers you quote for LaRoche are based on how many at bats? When was the last time Glaus stayed healthy for an entire season? He’s not a risk – he’s a guy whose best years are behind him and who will spend more time on the DL this year than he will on the first base bag. Add Cabrera into this mix and then ask why Turner field doesn’t sell out home games. We need a new owner.

  3. Adam - Dec 24, 2009 at 9:55 PM

    The Braves should just throw in the towel after this move and some other recent ones they have made. They should let their good players go to other teams where they might have a chance of winning. No more with the Braves.

  4. don - Dec 25, 2009 at 9:28 AM

    I totally agree with your assessment. This is a great signing by the Braves. Look at his history.
    It has a slight amount of risk but all signings do. He was never hurt before this shoulder and reports are that it is totally healed.

  5. windows update virus - Jan 14, 2010 at 9:55 AM

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