Rolen acquired from Toronto
The trade is official — Scott Rolen and cash going from Toronto to the Reds in exchange for 3B Edwin Encarnacion, RHP Josh Roenicke and minor lg RHP Zach Stewart.
The Reds will also receive an undisclosed amount of cash from Toronto to off-set some of Rolen’s salary. He is making $11 million this season and is due to make $11 million in 2010.
The 34-year-old Rolen was batting .320 in 88 games with the Blue Jays with eight home runs and 43 RBIs. He is a five-time All-Star and seven-time Gold Glove winner.
With the Reds 11 games under .500 and 9 1/2 games out of first place entering Friday, it was still a stunning move even though it had been rumored for weeks.
“We made ourselves better,” GM Walt Jocketty said. “That’s how I look at it. We made ourselves better for this year and next year. That’s what I said all along we’re trying to do.”
Rolen, a native of Jasper, Indiana, had to waive his no-trade clause before the deal could be finalized.
“I wanted Rolen,” Jocketty said. “I just think the type of player he is, the character he brings, will be great for our organization. He’ll be a big part of this franchise. For him, it’s an opportunity to basically come home. He’s thrilled.”
The Reds had to give up a lot to get Rolen. Roenicke was deemed a top prospect and the hardest thrower in the organization.
“It was kind of the stumbling block,” Jocketty said. “We finally gave in and decided to give up the pitching. It was difficult to give up the young pitching. With Scott coming over, there wasn’t a place for Edwin.”
“How can you not want a guy like that?” said Reds pitcher Bronson Arroyo when told about the deal before it was official. “It would be hard for us to find a better third baseman in the game defensively. Obviously, pitching against him – he’s not a guy I want to see at the plate with men on second and third and two outs. That tells me this organization isn’t remotely close to quitting.”
“We’re really excited about getting Rolen,” manager Dusty Baker said. “I think it was a great move for Edwin too. Sometime a change of scenery might be good for you. I think it’s a great opportunity for Edwin. And we’re just as happy to get Scott Rolen. A gold glove third baseman, an RBI producer, we’re excited to see him play. It’s going to help our team, out outlook, our attitude. I hate giving up Roenicke. But you have to give up something to get something.”
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