Troy Glaus finished the season in a horrible slump, going from the Braves’ starting first baseman to completely out of the team’s plans, so predictably there’s been little reported interest in him as a free agent.
However, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post the Rockies may have some interest in Glaus as “a right-handed version of Jason Giambi” who would “play a little first base and pinch-hit.”
Giambi filled that role for the Rockies this season, but wasn’t an ideal fit to back up Todd Helton because they’re both left-handed hitters. Glaus would offer a right-handed bat to back up Helton and his ability to at least serve as an emergency option at third base would also give the Rockies some added flexibility over Giambi.
Whether or not Glaus can still make a positive impact in even a part-time role is another question. He signed a one-year contract with the Braves after sitting out nearly all of 2009 due to a shoulder injury and got off to a strong start, hitting .280 with an .874 OPS and 14 homers through his first 70 games.
Glaus then went 39 consecutive games without homering and batted .183 with a .557 OPS overall in 58 games after June 20, finishing the season with a .240 batting average, .340 on-base percentage, and .400 slugging percentage in 483 plate appearances. Even that modest season line would make him somewhat useful as a backup to Helton who could be spotted primarily against left-handed pitching and the Rockies seem like a good fit considering how little interest there figures to be elsewhere.
Earlier, Craig wrote about the latest in the Mets’ search for a new general manager. Their list has been pared down to three candidates: Chaim Bloom (Rays senior VP of baseball operations), Doug Melvin (Brewers senior advisor), and agent Brodie Van Wagenen (of Creative Artists Agency).
It’s a diverse list, for sure, which makes one wonder what process allowed them to arrive at these final three candidates. Bloom is new school, Melvin is older-school, and Van Wagenen is… just inexperienced. Van Wagenen in particular is an interesting candidate as he has spent years advocating on his clients’ behalf. As a GM, he would do the exact opposite: he would try to take advantage of his players whenever possible, like every other GM in baseball does (e.g. manipulating service time).
Per Mike Puma of the New York Post, agent Scott Boras thinks there would be a conflict of interest if an agent were to become a GM. Boras, in fact, says he has turned down opportunities to lead front offices. But there is no verbiage saying that an agent must divest himself of his business interests before taking a job in a front office. Dave Stewart and Jeff Moorad are two examples of agents who later went onto the ownership side of the business. Stewart, in fact, moved into the front office after retiring and held various roles in with various organizations until he started Sports Management Partners (renamed Stewart Management Partners). He transferred control of the agency to Dave Henderson before he joined the Diamondbacks’ front office near the end of the 2014 season.
Ownership and labor are in constant conflict, even when things seem peaceful. Ownership wants to extract as much labor as possible as cheaply as possible. Labor wants to be paid for their work as much as possible. Their goals contradict each other and yet they need each other. While not required, usually being deeply on one side or the other — as agents and GM’s are — speaks to one’s personal ethos about the eternal tug-of-war. That Van Wagenen is so eager to switch sides speaks, perhaps, to opportunism. I would be, at minimum, unsettled if I were a client of Wan Wagenen’s at CAA. How might he use the sensitive information he was privy to as an agent to his advantage as a GM?
We have seen the analytics wave take over front offices around baseball. As ownership looks for ever more ways to pocket more cash, Van Wagenen’s candidacy may signal an upcoming wave of agents transitioning into front office roles. Hopefully that doesn’t become the case. There may be no one better equipped to take advantage of labor than someone experienced on that side of the battlefield.