Jays get Glaus, prospect for Batista, Hudson
Toronto Blue Jays
The Arizona Diamondbacks dealt the power-hitting Glaus and top minor-league shortstop prospect Sergio Santos to the Blue Jays on Tuesday for Gold Glove second baseman Orlando Hudson and pitcher Miguel Batista.
"With the moves that they made, and things that they've been able to do, this team seems poised to make a run. We're young and very, very talented," said Glaus, who had a limited no-trade clause that included the Blue Jays.
Toronto, expanding its payroll from $45 million to about $75 million, has been one of the most active teams this offseason.
"Once I got that alleviated in my mind and I looked at the roster, the decision became fairly easy," Glaus said.
The Blue Jays, lacking punch since Carlos Delgado left as a free agent after the 2004 season, were thrilled to get him.
"He's the big bopper we were looking for," Toronto general manager J.P. Ricciardi said. "We never in our wildest dreams thought we'd get two bats and two pitchers."
Glaus led Arizona in homers (37) and RBI (97), playing in 149 games in his only season with the Diamondbacks despite occasional flare-ups of a strained tendon in the back of his left knee.
He was the 2002 World Series MVP for Anaheim, following a season in which he had a career-high 111 RBI. In 2000, Glaus led the AL with 47 homers.
Toronto is expected to make more trades because adding Glaus creates a glut at the corner infield positions. Glaus prefers playing third base, but the Blue Jays already have Corey Koskie, a Canadian. Shea Hillenbrand and Eric Hinske are also on the team.
Ricciardi said Glaus will play third and Overbay will man first. Ricciardi mentioned Hillenbrand in his plans, but didn't say anything about Hinske, whose production has declined.
He hadn't spoken to Koskie.
"When Corey came here, Hinske moved over. We have all the respect in the world for Corey but Troy gets the nod," Ricciardi said.
Batista, 34, had 31 saves last season, his second with the Blue Jays and first as their closer. He went 29-26 in 76 starts and 44 relief appearances with the Diamondbacks from 2001-03.
Hudson, 28, is a career .271 hitter and a spectacular defensive player.
Glaus is due to make $10.5 million next season as part of a $45 million, four-year contract he agreed to last December.
Batista will move into Arizona's starting rotation, general manager Josh Byrnes said.
"He pitched well [as a starter] in Arizona and his first year in Toronto," Byrnes said. "He did well, and that at this point is a greater area of need for our club."
Batista was 29-26 and made 76 starts for the Diamondbacks from 2001-03. He was 11-8 with a 4.58 ERA as part of the rotation for Arizona's World Series championship team in 2001. Batista didn't allow a run in eight innings in the seven-game World Series triumph over the New York Yankees. He signed with the Blue Jays as a free agent in 2004 and was converted to a closer last season.
The trade clears the way for Chad Tracy to return to third base for Arizona, the position he played as a rookie in 2004. When Glaus was signed, Tracy moved to first base and played some in the outfield last season. Tracy led the Diamondbacks with a .308 average last season.
The acquisition of Hudson means Craig Counsell will shift to shortstop. Hudson hit .270 in four seasons with Toronto. This year, he batted .271 with 63 RBI and 10 home runs.
The Diamondbacks were willing to part with Santos, who hit .239 with 68 RBI and 12 home runs for Triple-A Tucson last season, because of the rise of Stephen Drew through the minor-league system.
Drew hit .389 for Class A Lancaster last season, and spent the final few weeks with Double-A Tennessee, where he batted .218 with four home runs and 13 RBI in 27 games. Byrnes said Drew probably needs another season in the minors before he is ready for the majors.
Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press