Phillies Could Land Blanton
ESPN's Buster Olney has reported on 950 AM in Philadelphia that the Phillies have entered into negotiations with the Athletic's for starting pitcher Joe Blanton. The Phillies have made a formal offer, but what the offer is not known yet.
Blanton has had a down year, with a 5-12 record and a raised ERA to 4.96. His potential is very high, and he could fill a spot in the back end of the rotation for the Phillies. The Phillies are feeling a sense of urgency because they open up the All-Star break at Florida then in New York verse the Mets. Right now their ace, Cole Hamels will only start one of those games, as he is expected to pitch Sunday against the Marlins.
Blanton would be a bullpen saver for the Phillies and would be better than either Adam Eaton or Brett Myers. If Myers cannot return to form next Tuesday vs. the Mets, he could be the loser in this trade. It is expected that Blanton would immediately replace Eaton. This is not the ace the Phillies are looking for, but it is a start. Updates will be posted if names in the offer are announced. But it seems that it wouldn't take more than one or two prospects to get Blanton to switch coasts.
Moyer, Eaton, Myers, Kendrick, and Happ have all started for the Phillies and all have problems going deep into games or more than 5 innings. Blanton should go 7, which is his average.
Blanton was a former first round draft pick by the A's and the Phillies have been in the market for a starter or two. Discussions have taken place with Seattle for Erick Bedard and Toronto with AJ Burnett. With a record of 5-12, the Phillies may have moved out of the Ralph Lauren Section and into the bargain bin.
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