Tag:Joe Blanton
Posted on: January 18, 2011 10:31 pm

Blanton staying in Philly

BlantonJoe Blanton will be staying in Philadelphia, GM Ruben Amaro tells FOX Sports.

"I don’t feel comfortable [trading Blanton]," Amaro says. Once signing Cliff Lee, it was thought Philly would be eager to shed Blanton's salary in a deal, but that appears not to be the case. "He’s going to pitch for the Phillies, probably for the entire season."

Blanton is guaranteed $19 million over the next two seasons, and Philadelphia would have had to cover much of the deal in any trade, which likely chilled any discussions. While Blanton got off to a poor start in 2010, a fast finish enabled him to end the year with a 4.82 ERA in 175 2/3 innings.

Even with the Phillies' payroll expected to top $160 million, Amaro sees no need to trade Blanton, even if it freezes Kyle Kendrick out of the rotation.

“Why would we want to trade the guy?” Amaro said. “He gives us a whole lot of protection. I’d stack him up against the rest of the fifth starters in the league.”

-- Evan Brunell

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Posted on: January 11, 2011 5:05 pm

Phillies could hold onto Blanton

Joe Blanton Ever since the Phillies signed Cliff Lee, it's been assumed Joe Blanton is on his way out of Philadelphia.

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

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Posted on: December 22, 2010 11:36 am
Edited on: December 22, 2010 2:27 pm

Blanton could be alternative to Pavano

Joe Blanton Joe Blanton is not a member of the Red Sox.

You may remember as part of the wake behind the signing of Cliff Lee, there was a report Blanton had been traded to Boston. He had not.

The Phillies are still looking at moving Blanton, who is due $8.5 million for each of the next two seasons. But Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com notes the Phillies may wait for Carl Pavano to sign before actively shopping Blanton.

For the Phillies, they could market Blanton as a less expensive, more durable, younger and unmustached version of Pavano. The Twins will likely sign Pavano, while the Nationals have also had a lot of interest in him (the Brewers did, but they kinda filled that spot in their rotation.)

The Phillies won't be asking for much in return for Blanton, just the salary relief.

Blanton was 9-6 with a 4.82 ERA for the Phillies last season and at 30, has started at least 29 games in each of his six full seasons.

Pavano has gone 31-23 with a 4.39 ERA in the last two seasons for the Indians and Twins after starting just 26 games for the Yankees from 2005-2008 after signing a big contract with New York.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: December 19, 2010 5:47 pm

Top 5 remaining pitchers available

Now that Zack Greinke is in the Brew City, where does that leave teams seeking an arm?

Options are dwindling fast, which will be to the benefit to free-agent pitchers or teams with pitching to deal.

With that in mind, here are the five best options left on the market. This does not include pitchers that may be available but have not been reported to be such and also does not include Andy Pettitte, who will either return to the Yankees or retire.

Rank Who Why
Matt Garza
Garza is actually not as good as his career ERA (3.97) might indicate thanks to a 4.45 xFIP, but the 27-year-old has age and contract on his side, with three years of arbitration eligibility left. He has topped 200 innings the last two years and could blossom in the NL Central. The Rays need salary relief, but would probably prefer to deal Shields (No. 5 on this list) instead. The Rangers figure to be the top bidder for his services, but he has been most closely linked to the Cubs.
Ricky Nolasco
Contract extension talks have broken down between the Fish and Nolasco, so the club has been fielding calls on the right-hander. While Florida has reportedly planned to retain Nolasco through the next two seasons regardless, the club would move Nolasco in the right deal. He would likely cost more than Garza to get a deal done, but his unlucky streak of ball the last three years may chill offers enough that he remains in Florida.
3 Blanton
Joe Blanton
Why Blanton over Carl Pavano, No. 4 on the list? Simple: Pavano is seeking three years and $36 million, while Blanton is due $17 million over the next two years and Philadelphia will likely eat part of his deal to trade him. Meanwhile, Blanton's xFIP over the last two years is similar to Pavano's, and Blanton edges Pavano in age. As a back-of-the-rotation innings eater who keeps teams in games, Blanton's pretty snazzy.
4 Pavano
Carl Pavano
That's not to say that Pavano isn't valuable. The best free-agent starter left on the market (and the only free agent on the list, which speaks volumes), has returned to his innings-chomping ways and hurled 221 frames in 2010. He should be good for an ERA around 4.00 the next couple of years and would do well near the top of a rotation, but he's not an ace. The Twins remain the favorites for his services.
5 Shields
James Shields
Shields actually may be a better pitcher than Garza despite his 5.18 ERA. His xFIP was 3.72, a career-low and has a better track record when it comes to durability. However, that ERA will scare off suitors as well. He has one year of a guaranteed salary remaining, but three club options at escalating prices that could drop him behind Garza in contract status.

-- Evan Brunell

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Posted on: December 15, 2010 12:09 pm

Another Phils rotation option: Pedro?

Pedro Martinez Why stop with two Cy Young Award winners in your rotation when you can have three?

According to the New York Daily News, Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. inquired about Padro Martinez during last week's Winter Meetings. Martinez, 39, didn't play in 2010 but is not retired. He last pitched for the Phillies in 2009, joining the team late in the season and pitching alongside Cliff Lee in the Phillies' World Series run.

Asked earlier this month about whether he wants to pitch next season, Martinez told the Daily News, "I'll have to try it again. [Pitching] runs through my veins. When I saw Lee pitching this World Series and I had a chance to go to Texas for the remainder of the season, it really ticked me, but I was able to control it."

The Phillies are apparently ready to move fifth starter Joe Blanton, which could open a spot for Martinez to return with an incentive-heavy contract. That would give them this rotation: Roy Halladay (two Cy Youngs), Lee (one Cy Young), Roy Oswalt, Cole Hamels and Martinez (three Cy Youngs). Yikes.

-- David Andriesen

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Posted on: December 14, 2010 4:03 pm

Blanton certain to depart Philly

Blanton With Cliff Lee in the fold, the Phillies are attempting to clear out salary by trading starter Joe Blanton and left fielder Raul Ibanez.

While moving Ibanez is a long shot, the Phillies figure to be able to move Blanton even with his pedestrian 4.82 ERA in 174 2/3 innings as Blanton has a history of being a quality innings-eater. In fact, Blanton's 2010 isn't as bad as it seems because his xFIP was at a more manageable 4.06, while his ERA in August and September was a combined 3.23. There's value here.

The Phillies will certainly have to eat some of the two years and $17 million remaining on Blanton's deal, but interest is high enough and the motivation on Philadelphia's end is enough that agent Casey Close definitively told SI.com's Jon Heyman that "he's not staying in Philly."

Close isn't sure where Blanton will end up, but reports had him linked to the Red Sox before that was debunked.

So where could he end up? Well, both the Rangers and Yankees are searching for an arm after losing out on Cliff Lee, so Blanton could be a consolation prize. If this happens, the Phillies would have traded Cliff Lee to extend Blanton, then signed Lee and traded Blanton to the team that missed out on Lee. Baseball works in funny ways.

-- Evan Brunell

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Category: MLB
Posted on: December 14, 2010 8:38 am
Edited on: December 14, 2010 1:17 pm

Blanton headed to Boston?

Joe Blanton Maybe the Red Sox were so grateful to Phillies for keeping Cliff Lee out of the American League East, they're helping Philadelphia afford Lee by taking Joe Blanton off their hands, Sports Illustrated 's Jon Heyman tweets .

Blanton has two years and $17 million left on his contract, some of which the Phillies are likely o pick up. Still, it seemed moving Blaton was something the Phillies needed to do to be able to afford Lee, because $17 million is just a tad much for a fifth starter for anyone but the Yankees.

Blanton was 9-6 with a 4.82 ERA in 28 starts for the Phillies last season. He won 42 wins in his first three full seasons of his career with Oakland, before being traded by the A's to the Phillies in July of 2008 for Adrain Cardenas, Matt Spencer and Josh Outman.

UPDATE: The Boston Globe 's Pete Abe tweets the Phillies and Red Sox have talked about Blanton, but no deal is in place.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

UPDATE : The Boston Herald ' s Scott Lauber says talks between the two clubs were never serious, according to sources from both sides. This never made sense in the first place as the Red Sox are five-deep in the rotation. (Six, if you count Tim Wakefield in the bullpen.)

One possible school of thought is that acquiring Blanton would have allowed the Sox to shop Daisuke Matsuzaka as teams have reportedly had a fair amount of interest in the righty.

-- Evan Brunell

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Posted on: December 6, 2010 1:36 pm
Edited on: December 6, 2010 1:42 pm

Money getting tight in Philly, Detroit

CBSSports.com senior writer Danny Knobler is cruising the bar area at the hotel here at the Winter Meetings (that's coffee in his cup, I swear!) and here's a little bit of what he's hearing:

Kyle Kendrick • The Phillies are listening to offers for starter Kyle Kendrick (pictured), who could interest several teams. The top of their rotation is set, and they don't think they can move Joe Blanton, so that means Kendrick could bring something in return.

• The Phillies are looking for a right-handed platoon guy to split time with Domonic Brown in right, but they don't want to spend a whole lot of money. That's where Jeff Francoeur may fit in. The team doesn't have a whole lot of money left to spend, and could be looking for someone to be "the next Jayson Werth." It's a nice theory, at least.

• The Tigers would love to bring back Magglio Ordonez, but aren't sure they can afford him. They're selling pizzas for just $5, so money is getting tight in Detroit.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com