Free agency on a budget: Troy Glaus

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Struggles returning from offseason shoulder surgery followed by back problems left Troy Glaus on the sidelines until September and he played just 14 games overall this season, basically making 2009 a lost year for the four-time All-Star.
His health remains a huge question mark, but Glaus batted .270/.372/.483 with 27 homers in 151 games for the Cardinals as recently as last year to top an .800 OPS in a ninth straight season. For the 2000s he leads all MLB third baseman with 274 homers and ranks third in adjusted OPS+ behind only Chipper Jones and David Wright.
Glaus’ ability to play third base is certainly in doubt, because in addition to the shoulder problems he’s 33 years old, stands 6-foot-5, and weighs around 250 pounds. However, he was originally a shortstop and his defense has graded out reasonably well at the hot corner, with Ultimate Zone Rating pegging his glove as a positive there in both 2007 and 2008. Plus, if needed his bat is certainly potent enough to remain at asset at first base or even designated hitter.
In terms of risk versus reward Glaus likely has the highest upside of any free agent third baseman, because his value and price tag have never been lower and if healthy he’s an elite right-handed power hitter with good plate discipline and a decent glove.

Clayton Kershaw struggles with control, walks six Marlins

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Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw entered Wednesday night’s start against the Marlins without having issued a walk in his previous three starts. In fact, his last walk came on April 3 when he issued a free pass to Paul Goldschmidt with the bases empty and two outs in the bottom of the first inning. All told, Kershaw was on a streak of 26 walk-less innings before he took the mound at home to take on the Marlins.

Kershaw started off Wednesday in character, striking out the side in the first inning. He issued a walk in a tough second inning, but escaped without allowing a run. Kershaw walked two more in the third and again danced out of danger. In the fourth, Kershaw walked Lewis Brinson to load the bases with no outs and — you guessed it — didn’t end up allowing a run. His errant control finally came back to bite him in the fifth when Kershaw issued back-to-back two-out walks, then served up a three-run home run to Miguel Rojas down the left field line. His night was done when he completed the inning. Five innings, three runs, five hits, six walks, seven strikeouts, 112 pitches.

The six walks Kershaw issued over five innings marked his first six-walk outing since April 7, 2010 when he issued six free passes to the Pirates in 4 2/3 innings. The only other time he walked as many was on August 3, 2009 against the Brewers in a four-plus inning outing. Kershaw hasn’t even walked five batters in an outing recently — the last time was September 23, 2012 against the Reds.