Business Over the Holidays

Thumbnail image for blanton 0828 2010.jpgSo what’s left for the Phillies before Spring Training? They could sign a reliever since their Dennys Reyes deal collapsed.

But that’s a relatively minor move compared to trading Joe Blanton, which they are trying to do.

The Phillies blew up their budget to sign Cliff Lee, even though he is making a relatively modest $11 million next season. The Phillies need to move salary to give them flexibility at the July 31 trade deadline and next winter when Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Madson, Raul Ibanez and possibly Brad Lidge (if his 2012 club option is not exercised) become free agents.

Blanton became the odd man out when Lee signed, not because of his performance, but because of his salary. He makes $8.5 million in 2011 and $8.5 million in 2012.

In conversations with baseball sources since the Lee deal, Blanton should not be difficult to trade. And the Phillies might not have to eat much of his salary because they will be looking for little in return. Teams are looking for starting pitching and few viable options remain, making Blanton attractive.

Teams like the New York Yankees, Texas Rangers, Detroit Tigers, Toronto Blue Jays, Washington Nationals and Minnesota Twins make sense. The Yankees and Rangers lost the Lee sweepstakes. The Nationals took a stab at Lee, too. The Tigers have been looking for a bottom-of-the-rotation starter for some time, but have not found one. The Twins could be interested in Blanton, if they can’t resign Carl Pavano.

Pavano might be the most attractive free agent on the market at the moment. (Brandon Webb remains available, too.) But made an interesting comparison between Pavano and Blanton, who is nearly five years younger than Pavano. Blanton has a slightly better career ERA (4.30 to 4.34) and strikeout ratio (5.8 to 5.7) than Pavano, while Pavano has a slightly better career WHIP (1.334 to 1.343) and strikeout-to-walk ratio (2.54 to 2.32) than Blanton.

Statistically, there is little difference between the two. But teams already know how much Blanton will cost and they only have to make a two-year commitment to him. Teams love cost certainty and flexibility.


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Todd, Have yourself a very Merry Christmas. Thanks for all the work you’ve done over the past years. Hope Santa brings you, and the Phillies, a WS ring in your stocking

Todd, you’re the best. Thanks for answering my emails and for always being such a nice guy as well as an excellent writer and “go to guy” for everything Phillies. Happy Holidays and a spectacular New Year. Keep up the good work.

Merry Christms, thanks for the great blog. Any thoughts on the talk of a Justin Upton – Cole Hamels trade talk? I can’t see this happening involving Hamels (youngest SP)

Todd, Merry Christmas. You got an early Christmas present. Congratulations on the Brew Crew getting Zack Greinke. They should be a force to reckon with in the NL Central in 2011.

Merry Christmas Todd and thanks for great commentary. Look for santa to bring Lastings Milledge to the Phillies as a young right-handed OF who can play right field and left field and platoon and compete with domonic brown and raul ibanez. milledge a solid defensive outfielder.

Insider, in return for who do you figure we get Milledge (who is known, amonst other things, for getting tagged out in middle of Home Run trot-see ??

That would make sense, since we just lost an outfielder who routinely got picked off bases while aimlessly wandering around.

Yo Todd, get out the polka music and have yourself a Merry Christmas Lenny Gomulka style ! 🙂

Merry Christmas, Todd!


Merry Cliffmas
Happy Halladays
Roy to the World

Phils agree to terms with lefty J.C. Romero. I think this makes the roster pretty much set.

Lastings Milledge? That guy has been doing the Kenny Lofton tour. Unlike Lofton, I’m sure he has character issues.

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