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Is Blanton Staying or Going?

Posted by Corey Seidman, Fri, January 07, 2011 12:27 PM | Comments: 24
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The Cubs appear deadset on trading more minor league talent for Matt Garza than any team – including the Phillies – has given up for a starting pitcher in several years.

As reported by Bruce Miles of The Daily Herald, the Cubs will trade:

  • their top overall prospect, righthander Chris Archer (15-3, 2.24 ERA, 9.4 K/9 in Single-A and Double-A in 2010)
  • outfielder and 2010 Cubs Minor League Player of the Year, Brandon Guyer (.344/.398/.588, 13 HR, 39 doubles last year in Double-A)
  • versatile infielder-turned-catcher Robinson Chirinos (.999 OPS, 18 HR in Double-A and Triple-A in 2010)
  • and Hak-Ju Lee, a young speedster who has performed well at the lower levels

The trade is baffling. Nearly every credible Cubs analyst is questioning it, wondering why GM Jim Hendry believes Garza is worth this much given what it took to net Cliff Lee (twice), Roy Halladay, Dan Haren, Roy Oswalt, and Zack Greinke.

From a Phillies standpoint, this trade would make Joe Blanton the best available starting pitching piece left on the trading block. With the Twins and Carl Pavano closing in on a two-year deal, Blanton is arguably the best pitcher available, period.

But a report surfaced this morning on Yahoo! Sports that Ruben Amaro is quite content with Blanton as his number five starter in 2011.

Is Kentucky Joe really here to stay, or should we read this as another in a long line of strategic moves by Amaro to drive up the asking price?

Based on what has happened since the signing of Cliff Lee – both in the Phillies front office and around the league – it can be reasonably surmised that nobody bit hard on Blanton. The Phillies were looking for either substantial salary relief (i.e. half or slightly more than half of Blanton’s remaining money) or an intriguing return.

Now, with few starting pitching options left and the unrelenting need every major league team has at the position, Blanton could actually net what Amaro originally sought.

So, while it may appear that Blanton is in the Phillies plans for 2011, it is difficult to read this as anything other than a ploy by Amaro to get what he wanted all along – some necessary salary relief.

If the market heats up in the coming days, we will know the truth of Amaro’s intentions. If it does not, you can pencil Joe Blanton in as the Phillies number five. The next 48-72 hours will tell the story.

Avatar of Corey Seidman

About Corey Seidman

Corey Seidman has written 210 articles on Phillies Nation.

Corey is Analysis Editor for Phillies Nation and also writes for CSNPhilly.com.

 
 
  • Posts: 15 bjfolk12

    Avatar of bjfolk12

    Personally, I’m fine with Blanton being the #5 starter or LR. However, I would love to see some young guys getting some work and building a nice future arm, in that LR or extra bullpen spot.

    But I think trade market will heat up for a guy like Blanton in late Spring Training or by the trade deadline, think Jamie Moyer or Kyle Losch or Andy Ashby deal for the Phillies at the trade deadline..someone looking for a SP then to fill a 3 or 4 spot.

    I don’t think we will get a lot back but I think he won’t end the season on the Phillies roster.

     
  • Posts: 4542 Lefty

    Avatar of Lefty

    I’m fine with Blanton if they think they can afford him. As long as Charlie pulls him in the prior to the seventh or his third at bat (whichever comes first), he could win a lot of games.

    The problem is I don’t think I believe Ruben on this one, he’s got irons on the fire, and he’s stoking it by saying hes content keeping Joe B as fifth starter.

     
  • Posts: 222 tavian

    Avatar of tavian

    Right now, Blanton is the best #5 starter in baseball. He would be a #2 (Kansas City, Pittsburgh) or #3 most anywhere else. I would be willing to bet that the Phils want AT LEAST a decent minor league shortstop prospect and a versatile utility player for Blanton, especially if the Phils will eat up to half of Blanton’s salary. He is the best starter on the market right now. This is very exciting stuff. Thanks for keeping us posted.

    Also, I would not mind keeping Blanton, as well, if we can afford him.

     
  • Posts: 15 bjfolk12

    Avatar of bjfolk12

    I don’t know that the Phillies would want or need a minor league SS prospect. They are high on Freddy Galvis who was at Reading most of the year. I believe he is 21 or 22 years old and will be in AAA this year or least by the end of the season.

    Like I said they are really high on him which as made no extension with J-Roll pretty interesting. Not sure if he would be ready with the bat by 2011, struggled at Reading when I saw him.

    But I think a decent minor league prospect even a pitcher and UTL guy isn’t out of the question, just not sure about SS unless lower level.

     
  • Posts: 886 betasigmadeltashag

    Avatar of betasigmadeltashag

    i think saying your ok with big joe as the #5 starter is like saying i am ok with Ryan Howard batting clean up. I am not comparing their importance to t he team but come on a guy like Blanton pitching in the #5 spot is like having four aces, oh wait we have that. How can you know be ok with joe there. KK out of the pen to eat innings a spot starting, and let us not avoid the elephant in the room it is called injuries. I think they keep joe suck up the money unless someone blows them away with a trade.

     
  • Posts: 0 Mike Corson

    I’m a Blanton guy. He would be awesome as a #5. But if and when Ruben does trade him I HOPE Kendrick takes the role of long relief and Worley gets the 5th spot. He is a thousand times better than Special K who I believe might excel in that role.

     
  • Posts: 60 Captain Chaos

    Avatar of Captain Chaos

    Don’t know if Worley has shown me enough to call him worlds better than Kendrick, but he certainly deserves a shot at it. I assumed that Blanton would be out of here, but keeping him isn’t really looking like a bad plan. I think if Joe doesn’t start last year injured he has a much better year, if Joe is close to what he was prior to 2010 he should be good for 6 innings minimum win, lose, or draw. Those kind of innings from our starting pitching would really take the pressure off the bullpen. I think it’s realistic to expect between 12-14 wins from Big Joe. Of course if we got a righthanded bat with some pop I could see Rube pulling the trigger.

     
  • Posts: 2952 Chuck A.

    Avatar of Chuck A.

    The Phillies are in a great situation with Blanton. Right now they really don’t NEED to move him. Ruben is wise to just let the market move to him. Some team out there, whether it’s Spring Training or later on will most likely develop a need for a solid RH starter. If that’s the case…the Phils are in the driver’s seat. And maybe it’s the Phils who have that need.

    No need to rush here…

     
    • Posts: 4542 Lefty

      Avatar of Lefty

      There is one reason to rush just a little. If Blanton is the fifth starter, we’re entering arbitration with Kendrick who will be judged on his starter stats even though realistically he’d be a long reliever for us, and he’s a Super 2 set to be awarded somewhere in the 2M range, quadrupling his salary. Oh man, do we really want to pay KK that for occasional long relief? Trading Blanton would be the best option if we can.

       
      • Posts: 886 betasigmadeltashag

        Avatar of betasigmadeltashag

        Do you think RAJ can sign KK before arbitration to something less then 2 million. Or if they decide not to trade Joe, can they let KK walk with out arbitration, and would they do that?

         
  • Posts: 1435 Pat Gallen

    Avatar of Pat Gallen

    If they can get something for Blanton, they have to do it. Will he win a bunch in that role as 5th? Yes. But I feel like it’s more important to open up payroll for down the road than to have the greatest 5th starter ever.

     
  • Posts: 886 betasigmadeltashag

    Avatar of betasigmadeltashag

    About Glavis, I am not sure they are that high on the kid anymore, hasn’t shown any hitting improvment. But I guess is Dom Brown is the real deal, and the first basemen they are moving to the outfield becomes an big time power hitter maybe they could carry a SS that hits .180 with no pop but is a gold glove SS

     
    • Posts: 60 Captain Chaos

      Avatar of Captain Chaos

      Which 1B is that Beta? Singelton or Rizzotti?

       
      • Posts: 886 betasigmadeltashag

        Avatar of betasigmadeltashag

        I think it is Singleton that they are planning on trying out in RF in A or AA this year. He is only 19-20 years old and from what I have seen pretty athletic. Rizotti is a little older if I am not mistaken and pretty much blocked at 1B would not be surprised if the Phillies start looking to fill a hole at the trade deadline Rizzotti will be the piece that makes that happen

         
  • Posts: 60 Captain Chaos

    Avatar of Captain Chaos

    Thanks Beta I hadn’t heard that. Shame Rizzotti will end up as trade bait, but I’ve actually been pleased with the way the Phillies have been drafting and developing players lately. Gives me hope that 4-5 years from now when our current core is in trouble we still might have a young talented group to take over, especially with how the Single A teams played this year.

     
  • Posts: 222 tavian

    Avatar of tavian

    Freddy Galvis stinks with a bat in his hand. He has shown NO PROGRESS in the minors. May never make a major league club. Career minor leaguer.

     
    • Posts: 2952 Chuck A.

      Avatar of Chuck A.

      And that’s a real shame cause he’s a defensive wizard. Like I said the other day….gone are the days when you could “hide” a guy like that in the line-up like the Orioles did with Mark Belanger back in the 60s and 70s.

       
      • Posts: 15 bjfolk12

        Avatar of bjfolk12

        Not trying to start an argument and I understand he won’t be a star at the plate but there is always room for defensive players look at what Brendan Ryan got from the Mariners 2.75 million and he bated .223 with 19 doubles and 36 RBIs last year.

        I think Freddy could do that in the majors.

         
  • Posts: 222 tavian

    Avatar of tavian

    I hope Galvis learns to hit. He really IS damn good with the leather, but gone are those “Mark Belanger” Days.

     
  • Posts: 2068 Brooks

    Avatar of Brooks

    Lets get back to big Joe – if he has any value in the market, I say let him go and free up some cash as we may still be able to find a bat. We do after all have KK and maybe Worley? Either are less expensive and lets face it, last year when Cholly would let Joe come back on the field to start the 7th, there was always some worry. To his credit, he did have a decent August and September, going 5-0 in 11 starts with one dud at the start of September. His ERA seemed to settle a bit as it remained in the high 5′s for most of the season.

    We dont really have a big need for Kentucky Joe at this point. And frankly, I’d rather not see him in the NL East either.

     
    • Posts: 60 Captain Chaos

      Avatar of Captain Chaos

      I kind of like the waiting game that Ruben is using. There aren’t alot of pitchers available and you may see some teams get desperate pretty soon. I bet once Petitte retires the Yankees would love to have Big Joe in their rotation.

       
      • Posts: 93 Ted Bell

        Avatar of Ted Bell

        There’s no reason at all to trade Blanton in January. Coming out of spring training, there will be plenty of teams realizing (either by performance or injury) that they need more starting pitching. It wouldn’t surprise me to see Blanton go through the entire training camp with the Phils and be traded the day before the season begins.

        I’m Ted Bell.

         
  • Posts: 288 Jay Floyd

    Avatar of Jay Floyd

    If it isn’t clear already, Singleton is 19 and was tried out in LF in instructional ball from Sept-Oct. He is expected be be reassigned there going forward.

    I talked to Mark Parent, who managed Singleton w/ Lakewood last yr, and Parent thinks Singleton will have success there, because of his athleticism. Singleton turned 19 the day Lakewood clinched their SAL title in Sept.

    Here’s one of my most recent interviews w/ Singleton-
    http://is.gd/klbS5

    Rizzotti, unfortunately, is more valuable to another team. No room for him with the Phils. He’s a very likeable guy, I wish him much success.

     
    • Posts: 2 TonyF

      Avatar of TonyF

      The Phillies are in a great position holding on to Blanton until a team comes to them in need. As sure as the swallows come to capistrano every year so to does some pitcher go down in spring training. When that happens they will be knocking on Rueben’s door.

       
 
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