Joe Blanton is reportedly considering retirement after a 10-year career.
Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register previously reported that Blanton was retiring. He then amended his tweet to say that he left the Oakland Athletics' Triple-A affiliate:
To clarify on Joe Blanton, he left the A's AAA team. Unclear at the moment if he's done forever. Forever is a long time.— Jeff Fletcher (@JeffFletcherOCR) April 14, 2014
Whether Blanton intends to pitch again is unclear, but under any circumstances the Angels will owe him the remainder of his $15 million contract, which had $8.5 million to go this year, including a $1 million buyout of a 2015 option.
Blanton gave up six earned runs in 10 2/3 innings in two games for Triple-A Sacramento.
The 33-year-old was last seen in the majors with the Los Angeles Angels. He made 20 starts and eight relief appearances in 2013, going 2-14 with a 6.04 earned run average. The team released him back in March, leading to the situation in which it has to pay him all that dead money.
If there's one thing about Blanton you have to admire, it's the way he was able to wring every cent out of his prime years. He was arguably a No. 3 starter at best, but he made over $40 million over his career, as Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reminds us:
say what you want about joe blanton, but the man made $47 million, most of it long after he ceased being good.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) April 14, 2014
Up to this point in his career, Blanton has gone 85-89 with a 4.51 ERA. He showed a lot of promise with the Oakland Athletics between 2004 and 2008. The wheels started coming off after his second season with the Philadelphia Phillies.
Between injuries and a major dip in performance, Blanton became a shell of his former self.
It's hard to say if fans have truly seen the last of him on a major league mound. His terrible 2013 season would be a major warning sign for any teams interested in signing him from here on out.
However, with some time away from the game, maybe he can hit the reset button and work out some of the issues that have plagued his past couple of seasons.
Don't be surprised if at the very least Blanton gets a cursory look from a team in dire need of pitching in either this year or next.