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Thursday January 7, 2010 11:46 pm

Braves add Glaus to fill first base hole

Troy GlausTroy Glaus can add another of baseball’s divisions to the list he’s called home. The Atlanta Braves have finally made the official announcement that Glaus has been added to the roster as their new power-packed first baseman. The announcement has been a long-time coming due to a physical that had to be delayed while the Braves’ physicians celebrated the holiday season. Now that they’re back in the office, Glaus has passed his physical and will begin to collect on his guaranteed $2 million salary with incentives. He will move from third to first base and despite having almost no experience at the other end of the field, he is expected to fill in nicely.

The Braves finished the 2009 season in third place in the National League East, one game behind the Florida Marlins and seven behind the Philadelphia Phillies. They finished six games behind Wild Card winners, the Colorado Rockies. They are certainly on the cusp of their former greatness. They’re trying to find those missing pieces that so many teams throughout baseball are lacking to push them over the edge. Losing Casey Kotchman earlier in the season and then Adam LaRoche to free agency left a gaping hole at first for the Braves, and Glaus is more than enough to fill it.

Atlanta will be the fifth team that Glaus represents, as well as play in his fifth different division in baseball. His former list of teams includes the St. Louis Cardinals, Toronto Blue Jays, Arizona Diamondbacks, and Anaheim Angels, who selected him as the third overall pick in the 1997 Amateur Draft. The only division he’s never played in is the American League Central. Over his 12 years in the Majors, Glaus has hit .255 with 304 home runs and 879 RBI with a .856 OPS. It will be those power numbers that the Braves hope he can bring to the plate in 2010.

Despite his history of injuries, Glaus is a welcome addition to the Braves lineup. When he’s healthy, he’s as threatening as any slugger across baseball. But it will take some work to return to form from 2008, when he hit 27 home runs and drove in 99 RBI, but last year’s shoulder surgery does not bode very well for the right-hander’s power numbers. But if the Braves look to overtake the powerhouse Phillies, they’ll need to try anything they can think of, and Glaus is certainly worth the price tag.

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