In the end, the Diamondbacks had less concern about Troy Glaus’ shoulder than Richie Sexson's.
While every contract offer Arizona made to Sexson included clauses tied to the condition of his left shoulder, the four-year, $45 million deal Glaus signed Thursday had no such protection — even though Glaus played a total of just 149 games for Anaheim in 2003-04 because of shoulder problems.
And unlike Sexson, Glaus’ injury was to his throwing shoulder. The Angels were apparently so concerned about his ability to return to third base they approached Glaus about playing winter ball to prove he could.
Asked why the Diamondbacks insisted on health clauses with Sexson but not Glaus, CEO Jeff Moorad said, “The proper response is that every case is different. We had a chance to evaluate the risk in this circumstance and determine that it was not a situation that called for anything other than a straight contract.”
Glaus had surgery May 21 to repair the labrum and debride the rotator cuff in the shoulder. He returned to the Angels’ lineup Aug. 29 but was exclusively a designated hitter the final six weeks of the season and the playoffs.
He first suffered an injury in July 2003, slipping on Tampa Bay's artificial turf while trying to field a bunt. He opted for rehabilitation instead of surgery and was ready to play when the 2004 season opened.
But on April 30 he dove on the artificial surface in Minnesota, jamming both shoulders. By mid-May he was back on the disabled list.
Glaus said he began throwing in mid-September but stopped to make sure he would not affect his hitting in the Angels’ stretch run. He resumed a throwing program two weeks ago.
“My arm feels great,” he said. “I don't foresee any problems there. It's fixed. The surgery went well. . . . I'll be ready for spring, without any doubt.”
Sexson has interest from Seattle, Baltimore and the New York Mets, among others. While Arizona is not expected to resume negotiations, it declined to rule out his return.
“At the moment we have an arbitration offer on the table for Richie,” Moorad said. “Obviously the door is not closed.”
Sexson has until Dec. 19 to accept the arbitration offer. If he accepts (which does not seem likely given interest elsewhere) he goes back on Arizona's roster and is guaranteed at least $7 million next year — and probably closer to $10 million.
Casey Close, Sexson's agent, declined comment on Glaus’ signing or contract structure.
“We made a very sincere and very concerted effort with respect to Richie,” D-Backs general manager Joe Garagiola Jr. said. “As you've all heard me say many, many times, sometimes deals just don't come together.”
One person who helped lure Glaus to Arizona was former Diamondbacks third baseman Matt Williams. Williams, who also sat in on visits by free agents Russ Ortiz and Royce Clayton, is expected to be named a special assistant to Moorad (he was once a Moorad client).
“Matt was instrumental in helping Troy see the future here,” Moorad said.
“He was ‘the third baseman’ when I was growing up,” Glaus said. “I'm going to pick his brain.”
Williams will likely serve as a spring-training instructor and spend time with the team during the season.
Signing Glaus fills Arizona's 40-man roster. The team would have to take someone off the roster to use the No. 1 overall selection in Monday's Rule 5 draft.