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VAN DYCK: Rolen had to be moved

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So the sad saga of and the Philadelphia is over, and both are better off for it. If Rolen weren't such a pleasant and down-to-earth guy, you would swear he was a troublemaker, given the animosity he and the have been through in the last few months. Now that the divorce is final, here is what we see: The got a very good ballplayer and the got . . . something. If the had waited, they likely would have received nothing, not even draft choices as reported here the other day. And none of the other Rolen suitors came close to the in terms of money and talent.
Rolen finally dealt
Slugging third baseman was traded to the St. Louis on Monday, ending his unhappy tenure with the Philadelphia . The get third baseman , pitcher and reliever for the three-time Gold Glove winner and pitching prospect Doug Nickel. Rolen, who made his first All-Star team this season, is batting .259 with 17 homers and 66 RBIs. He had been the subject of trade rumors since rejecting a 10-year contract extension last November that could've been worth up to $140 million.
  • How much will Rolen help the Redbirds, for whom he actually wants to play and whose adoring fans will actually greet him warmly? He immediately gives them one of the best lineups in the league and one of the best young groups of core players — with and J. D. Drew. This is not to say that Rolen is another Mike Schmidt, which may have been part of his trouble in Philly. But he is a solid ballplayer, capable of a Gold Glove and hitting over .300 with decent slugging and on-base percentages. If there is any danger for the , it is trading the popular Polanco, who had been such a huge part of the Cardinal chemistry for the last three seasons. You can't pre-measure clubhouse camaraderie, although Rolen is an easy player to get along with (despite being called a "cancer" by an anonymous teammate in Philly). And while the have taken care of their offense, we wonder if it is at the expense of a shaky starting staff. Even with Rolen, they may not be as good as either the in the East or the and in the West. The ? Their biggest sin was thinking they could win this season, therefore allowing themselves to be boxed into a corner. Rolen had told them last winter that he would be leaving and that he would be unhappy, but GM Ed Wade stubbornly clung to the hope that a contending team could change his mind. Truth is, Rolen's presence may have contributed to the team's disappointing play this season. Now his long-term uncertainty is the ' headache. Both player and team realize he will be lucky to get half the 10-year, $140-million offer he received from the Philllies. But it is the price he's paying for what he thinks will be happiness. Dave van Dyck can be reached at his e-mail address: dvandyck@foxsports.com.
    Tagged: Braves, Dodgers, Phillies, Cardinals, Diamondbacks, Scott Rolen, Albert Pujols

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