Scott Rolen was acquired Monday by the Toronto Blue Jays from the St. Louis Cardinals for fellow third baseman Troy Glaus.
The transaction hinged on both players waiving the no-trade clauses in their contracts and passing physicals, which they did.
Rolen, 32, is considered one of the — if not the — finest defensive third basemen in the major leagues.
But three shoulder surgeries in the past three seasons have hindered him offensively.
The five-time all-star and seven-time Gold Glover has three years and $36 million US remaining on the eight-year, $90-million contract he signed with St. Louis on Sept. 27, 2002.
Toronto's other major off-season acquisition was former Cardinals shortstop David Eckstein, inked Jan. 3 for $4.5 million US.
Rolen averaged .265 last season with eight home runs, 58 runs batted in and 55 runs scored in 112 games before having surgery to remove scar tissue from his left shoulder.
Rolen is a .283 hitter overall with 261 HRs, 1,012 RBIs and 954 runs in 1,505 games over 12 MLB seasons with the Philadelphia Phillies and Cardinals.
St. Louis traded Placido Polanco, Bud Smith and Mike Timlin to the Phillies for Rolen and Doug Nickle on July 29, 2002.
Glaus had foot problems
Glaus, 31, had last season cut short by September surgery to repair a nerve in his left foot.
The four-time all-star hit .262 with 20 home runs, 62 runs batted in and 60 runs scored in 115 games for Toronto last season.
"From our perspective, he looked real good," Cardinals physician Dr. George Paletta said. "I don't expect anything should get in the way of him getting ready for Opening Day."
Glaus was cited in a report by SI.com that alleged shipments of nandrolone, an anabolic steroid, and testosterone were mailed to his residence in California by Signature Pharmacy, an Orlando company being investigated for illegal distribution, between September 2003 and May 2004 — when he played for the Anaheim Angels.
But the commissioner's office confirmed last Dec. 6 that it found insufficient evidence to discipline him.
Glaus is a career .254 hitter with 277 HRs, 778 RBIs and 766 runs in 1,244 games over 10 MLB seasons with the Angels, Arizona Diamondbacks and Blue Jays.
Toronto acquired him and Sergio Santos from Arizona for Miguel Batista and Orlando Hudson on Dec. 27, 2005, and Glaus made an immediate impact last season with a team-high 38 homers.
Glaus was voted the most valuable player of the 2002 World Series, which the Angels won in seven games over the San Francisco Giants.