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How Good Could the Phillies Be After Trading for Joe Blanton?

SteveCorrespondent IJuly 19, 2008

The Philadelphia Phillies acquired right-handed pitcher Joe Blanton from the Oakland Athletics on Thursday for three prospects: top second-base prospect Adrian Cardenas, left-handed pitcher Josh Outman, and outfielder Matthew Spencer.

This allows the Phillies to move pitcher Adam Eaton to the bullpen. It also bolsters a rotation that already consisted of ace Cole Hamels, veteran Jamie Moyer, and sophomore Kyle Kendrick.

The Phillies hope to have Brett Myers' head on straight when he returns from the minors on July 23. With a rotation that consists of Hamels, Blanton, Moyer, Kendrick, and Myers, the Phillies should be very good down the stretch if Myers does indeed straighten out his ace potential. Blanton will make his Phillies debut on July 22.

The Phillies also have one of the best bullpens in the majors. They've got Chad Durbin coming in early if the starter struggles, then J.C. Romero coming to set up lights-out closer Brad Lidge, who has had to be the story of the Phillies season so far in converting all 21 of his save opportunities.

Lidge, who was acquired during the offseason, along with Eric Bruntlett, for Michael Bourn, Geoff Geary, and a prospect, has been stellar so far this season. He was just recently awarded a three-year $37.5-million contract extension.

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