Here at MLBTR I mostly try to avoid steroid posts unless they have implications for the hot stove. In the case of Blue Jays third baseman Troy Glaus, a steroid connection definitely crosses into our realm. It was recently revealed at SI.com that Glaus received steroids in 2003-04.
It appears that steroid use played a large role in Glaus’s contracts. We may never know whether his home run crown in 2000 was influenced by performance-enhancing drugs. But that season led the Angels to lock him up through his arbitration years at four years, $22MM.
In July of 2003, Glaus landed awkwardly trying to field a Julio Lugo bunt. This was first labeled a bruise, but the ultimate result was a partial tear of his rotator cuff and a frayed labrum. He was shut down for the rest of ’03 but chose rehab over surgery. Glaus actually lost weight that winter. He got off to a decent start in ’04 but by May elected to have the surgery. That he made it back onto the field by September may have been aided by steroids. He hit seven home runs that month.
It’s tough to say whether any teams suspected Glaus of steroid use at that point. I often wonder to what extent these kinds of rumors float around inside the game and whether they influence GM decisions. The Angels decided to let Glaus leave via free agency in favor of Dallas McPherson. Did they know anything? The Dodgers, Red Sox, Mets, Tigers, and Orioles all had interest in Glaus during the winter of 2004-05. He wound up with Arizona for four years, $45MM. That level of interest says to me that teams did not suspect Glaus of steroid use.
Looking to shed salary just one season into Glaus’s contract, the D’Backs sent him to Toronto in December of ’05. An $11.25MM player option for ’09 was added to convince him to waive his no-trade clause.
The Jays made Glaus available this summer, but the lack of interest was surprising. $24MM over 2008-09 isn’t prohibitive for a power bat. Glaus cleared waivers in August – no team risked a claim. Even given Glaus’s full no-trade clause, the market’s apathy toward him seemed odd. I wonder if perhaps there was already a buzz within the game regarding his steroid use.