The Braves didn't take long to find a big bat promised Tuesday by GM Frank Wren, agreeing to a one-year contract today with free agent Troy Glaus.
Atlanta will make Glaus the new starting first baseman. He has played only six games at first base in his career, two this past season (with one start), and four games (three starts) in 2008.
Glaus had right shoulder surgery last January. He was expected back in midseason, but complications kept him out for most of 2009. Glaus returned to St. Louis at the end of the year and hit .172 in only 32 at bats in 14 games played.
The Braves believe Glaus can be a power-hitting threat in the middle of the lineup. He is a four-time All Star and a two-time Silver Slugger Award winner. Glaus led the American League in home runs with 47 in 2000.
When Glaus has been healthy, he has been a major power hitter. He's had seven seasons (out of 11 complete seasons in the big leagues) where he's played in 149 games or more. Out of those seven seasons, Glaus has averaged 35.5 home runs a year.
Glaus has had over 100 runs batted in four times in his career. His career OBP is .359, and his OPS has exceeded .800 nine times and .850 six times.
Glaus, who just turned 33 in August, came up to the big leagues in 1998 with the Angels. He was the Most Valuable Player in the 2002 World Series. He signed with Arizona before the 2005 season, but was traded the next year to Toronto, where he spent two seasons. The Blue Jays traded him to the Cardinals for Scott Rolen in January 2008.
Though mostly a third baseman in his career, Glaus also played shortstop a bit in Toronto. The Braves are confident he'll be able to play first base this season.
Glaus made $12 million-plus the past two seasons with the Cardinals. It is not known what his deal with the Braves will cost, although since Glaus has to prove he's healthy it's unlikely the contract will be that significant. That could give the Braves flexibility to go after yet another bat for the lineup, perhaps Mark DeRosa or even Johnny Damon.
The Braves need a short-term situation at first base, with phenom Freddie Freeman believed to be a season away from being ready for the majors.
Bill Shanks hosts The Bill Shanks Show on
WFSM Fox Sports 1670 in Macon, Georgia and The Braves Show Talk Show. Shanks writes a weekly baseball column for The Macon Telegraph and is the author of Scout's Honor: The Bravest Way To Build A Winning Team. You can email Bill at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/billshanks.
Braves agree to a deal with Troy Glaus
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