Glaus welcomed to Toronto

Glaus welcomed to Toronto

TORONTO -- The more Troy Glaus thought about playing for the Toronto Blue Jays, the more he liked the idea.

Glaus, who waived his no-trade clause to become part of baseball's biggest offseason makeover, was introduced to the Toronto media at a press conference on Tuesday night.

The towering 6-foot-5 third baseman, whom Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi expects to take over the cleanup spot, said Toronto's roster renovations this winter were too good to resist.

"After a couple of days of thinking about it, it became clear this was an opportunity I didn't want to pass up," said Glaus, sitting alongside new first baseman Lyle Overbay at Rogers Centre. "I'm excited to be here. I'm very excited about this team. I think it's moving in the right direction.

"When J.P. and I went over the roster of names and players that were here, that just made the decision that much easier. With the moves they've made and the things they've been able to do, this team seems poised to make a run. We're young and very, very talented."

In addition to adding Glaus and Overbay to the everyday lineup, Ricciardi has beefed up Toronto's pitching staff by signing free agent closer B.J. Ryan and starter A.J. Burnett.

"We never in our wildest dreams thought we'd get two bats and two pitchers," beamed Ricciardi.

Ricciardi said Glaus, who has averaged 36 homers a season over the course of his eight-year career, gives the Jays "the big bopper we've been looking for."

The MVP of the World Series in 2002, the 29-year-old Glaus led Arizona in homers (37) and RBIs (97) last season, the first year of a four-year, $45 million deal he signed after leaving Anaheim as a free agent.

Glaus will get the nod over Corey Koskie at third base, Ricciardi said, adding that he hasn't talked to the Canadian-born incumbent but has spoken with Koskie's agent.

The deal leaves the Jays with a glut of corner infielders, but Ricciardi denied that he'll have to make another deal to find enough work for the quintet of Glaus, Koskie, Overbay, Shea Hillenbrand and Eric Hinske.

"We don't have to move anybody," he said. "It's our job to find places for everybody to play. It's our job to create spots for other people to play.

"We have a long time until the start of the season, we'll see how it plays out."

To get Glaus and infield prospect Sergio Santos from the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Blue Jays parted with Gold Glove second baseman Orlando Hudson and pitcher Miguel Batista.

Glaus said he talked to current and former Blue Jays before agreeing to the trade, and liked all that he heard.

"They had nothing but great things to say about the city of Toronto and nothing but great things to say about playing here," he said. "This is a team I believe is going to be competitive now and be competitive for a long time."

Glaus has a history of knee and shoulder problems, and he was initially concerned his body would suffer from playing on Toronto's artificial turf. Upon hearing of Rogers Centre's conversion to the more forgiving FieldTurf surface, however, Glaus changed his mind.

The addition of Glaus pushes Toronto's 2006 payroll to $72 million, Ricciardi said, adding that he still has some "wiggle room" to make another move to round out the 2006 roster.

Will it all be enough to get Toronto back into the postseason for the first time since 1993?

"I think we're a better club, but you still have to go out and play," said Ricciardi. "If we've closed the gap, we'll only know at the end of the season."

Ian Harrison is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.