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Tale of the Tape: Troy Glaus vs Jorge Cantu

It's no surprise that the Twins have a backup plan in the event that they can't ink Jim Thome to a contract that suits both his agent and the Minnsota organization. The names brought up are two names which have been common in discussion around Twinkie Town for some time, namely the aging Troy Glaus and the enigmatic Jorge Cantu.

First thing's first, we need to get one thing straight: this post does not necessarily advocate the addition of Glaus or Cantu over Thome or, for that matter, Vladimir Guerrero. This is simply a way to look at both of those backup options by glancing through a few of the more notable numbers to see how they might fit with our 2011 Twins.

Troy Glaus

#25 / Third Base / Atlanta Braves





Aug 03, 1976

Is it just me or does Glaus look a bit like Jack during season three of LOST?

Only recently has Glaus' name come up in rumors, and he's come up with Cantu on two occasions. Both players seem to be backup options not just for the Twins, but for the Padres.

Glaus turned 34 in August, and in recent years he's had to overcome not just age but injury. He missed (essentially) all of 2009 to a right shoulder injury, and coming back this year met with varying levels of success. A very slow start was followed by good months in May and June, before July and August saw him regress to the point where the Braves dealt for Derrek Lee. At this point Glaus was relegated to bench duties, starting just twice in September where he was 4-for-15 during the entire month. His seasonal highlight may have come on June 13th, when he blasted a pair of home runs against the Twins.

Jorge Cantu

#8 / First Base / Texas Rangers





Jan 30, 1982

Jorge Cantu: Backup infielder with pop, or the equivalent of Luke Hughes?

Cantu, 29, has sandwiched a couple of good seasons in between a few lackluster ones. At his best he's a guy who can give you 40+ doubles and 25+ home runs if playing full time, but those are seasons where, for whatever reason, he's also been able to handle a breaking ball. I can't say for sure whether a successful offensive campaign and the ability to hit a slider are related, but no doubt it helps.

2010 wasn't one of Cantu's good seasons, and after he was dealt to the eventual AL Champion Rangers he wasn't a factor. Still, the potential is there for a good year, particularly if the Twins wouldn't have to rely on him on an everyday basis. While Glaus would primarily slot into a DH/backup first baseman role, Cantu could potentially back up third base as well. Neither of these guys will field their position particularly well, but versatility may play slightly in Cantu's favor.

After the jump, the tale of the tape.

Line 'em up.

Cantu 2010 Glaus Cantu Career Glaus
28 Age 33 29 Age 34
$6,000,000 Salary $1,750,000 Salary
DH/1B/3B Position DH/1B DH/1B/3B Position DH/1B
127 Games 128 790 Games 1537
515 PA 483 3239 PA 6355
29 2B 18 199 2B 293
11 HR 16 101 HR 320
.305 wOBA .331 .330 wOBA .364
.695 OPS .744 .766 OPS .847
.234 AVG vsL .243 .272 AVG vsL .273
.286 OBP vsL .371 .323 OBP vsL .396
.362 SLG vsL .391 .451 SLG vsL .542
.266 AVG vsR .243 .275 AVG vsR .248
.311 OBP vsR .330 .319 OBP vsR .344
.405 SLG vsR .405 .444 SLG vsR .471

That's a lot to look at, but don't rush. You've got plenty of time.

Of course, looking at what a guy has done in the past is just part of the picture. Taking injuries and age into account play against Glaus, but if consistency and track record is your thing then Cantu doesn't look too pretty either. But these kinds of issues are to be expected because neither of these guys are the complete package. If they were, we wouldn't be comparing them to see who's the better bench option.

It's going to be easy to look at each of these guys and just pick one. Maybe you like Glaus as a pure role player, but you prefer Cantu as a guy who could start for a week or two straight while somebody is on the disabled list. Maybe Glaus has a more definable role, where Cantu is more of a wild card. Chances are, whichever guy you feel fits better for the Twins is probably the guy you'd prefer to have, because this isn't an open-and-shut comparison.

Going forward, Bill James sees a slightly better year coming from Glaus (.779 OPS, .345 wOBA, .187 ISO while continuing to both walk and strike out a lot) than from Cantu (.762 OPS, .329 wOBA, .168 ISO while walking and striking out less).

Both of these guys won't sign for more than $3 million guaranteed, and it's quite likely at this point that they'll be lucky to find an offer worth $2 million. All financial considerations being equal, who would you choose?