Around The AL East: Blue Jays

The Blue Jays hope history repeats itself for Scott Rolen.

Toronto acquired Rolen on Jan. 14 in a swap of veteran third basemen, sending Troy Glaus to St. Louis.

Rolen was unhappy in St. Louis, as he had a long-standing feud with manager Tony LaRussa that reached its peak when La Russa benched Rolen for a start during the 2006 World Series.

The last time Rolen was unhappy with his situation and ended up getting dealt, he was traded from Philadelphia to St. Louis during the 2002 season.

He made the All-Star team each of next four seasons, finished fourth in National League MVP voting in 2004 and led the Cardinals to a pair of World Series appearances.

Toronto hopes the change of venue works similar wonders this time around.

The difference, however, could be Rolen's health. He has had a series of left shoulder operations, and he missed the last month of the 2007 season. Rolen finished with eight homers, 65 RBIs and a .265 average in 112 games.

Glaus was slowed by an injured foot last year, when he played just 115 games. He hit 20 homers, his lowest total ever in a season in which he played more than 100 games. In his first season in Toronto, Glaus hit 38 homers and drove in 104 runs in 2006.


NOTES, QUOTES
—LF Reed Johnson has been signed, but the Jays still need to deal with RF Alex Rios, INF Marco Scutaro and pitchers Scott Downs, Jason Frasor, Brian Tallet and Gustavo Chacin. All six are eligible for salary arbitration.

—Jays president Paul Godfrey was presented a special recognition award at the annual Baseball Canada fund raiser at the Renaissance Hotel in Toronto. While the Jays had not drafted a lot of Canadians until 2006, they have been strong financial backers of the program, as has Major League Baseball. Attending this year's banquet were 2006 AL MVP Justin Morneau of the Minnesota Twins, 2007 World Series pitcher Jeff Francis of the Colorado Rockies, 2007 NL All-Star Russell Martin of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Adam Loewen of the Baltimore Orioles, Ryan Dempster of the Chicago Cubs, Joey Votto of the Cincinnati Reds, Peter Orr of the Washington Nationals and 2007 first-round pick Phillippe Aumont, selected by the Seattle Mariners. Morneau spoke on behalf of Larry Walker, whose No. 33 was retired to the Baseball Canada Wall of Excellence.

—Former Jays scout Al Lamacchia, a day-one employee, will be honored at the fifth annual Professional Baseball Scouts Foundation on Jan. 19 in Los Angeles. To date, 22 scouts (or their families) have been helped financially or placed with new jobs. The night features the "world's largest sports and memorabilia auction." Dave Yoakum and Dennis Gilbert of the Chicago White Sox, and Roland Hemond, of the Arizona Diamondbacks founded the group to help scouts who were suddenly out of work.

—Matt Tosca, 17, son of former Jays manager Carlos Tosca, will give a violin concert April 5 at Carnegie Hall in New York. It's a fundraiser for children's cancer, especially the Brandon (Fla.) Foundation and C.J. Tosca Fund, which provides support for cancer patients in the Brandon area. Carlos, now a bench coach with the Florida Marlins, and his wife, Geraldine started the fund in memory of their son C.J., who lost a battle to neuroblastoma, at age 2.


BY THE NUMBERS: 10—Years since the Jays last had a player go to salary arbitration (Bill Risley). Six players remain arbitration-eligible this offseason.


QUOTE TO NOTE: "Roger was a hard-working fool, a guy that you'd wish every one of your players would model themselves after as far as fitness and training and, on game day, his focus and all that. But I never saw anything out of the ordinary. I mean, Roger didn't get obviously bigger. He didn't change, didn't get a squeaky voice, didn't have any hair sprouting out. I didn't have any reason to believe anything was going on." —Former Jays trainer Tommy Craig when asked by the Toronto Star about Roger Clemens' 1998 season with the Jays.

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