Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. tells MLB.com's Todd Zolecki that he continues to shop the right-hander, but doesn't have to deal Blanton, who will make $17 million over the next two seasons.
"I really don't have to do anything," Amaro said. "We'll see whether it makes some sense to increase some flexibility for us for later on, but at some point, as I've said, we've just got to see what we've got in Spring Training and move on from there."
Blanton, 30, was 9-6 with a 4.82 ERA last season, pitching 175 2/3 innings -- his lowest total since breaking into the majors full-time in 2005.
By holding onto Blanton, the Phillies aren't selling low on a pitcher that won 42 games in his first three full seasons and 30 in the three since. While owed a lot of money, Blanton's been a dependable innings-eater throughout his career and there seems to be little reason to doubt that trend will continue. Come spring training, injuries will always create a need for a team to go out and get a starter, right now the Phillies have little leverage.
Right now, Philly has its formidable foursome with Lee, Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels, with Blanton serving as the fifth starter. The team also has Kyle Kendrick and Vance Worley who could step into that position. Kendrick was 11-10 with a 4.73 ERA last season, while Worley has started one game in the big leagues.
-- C. Trent Rosecrans