Quantcast


Report: Amaro Tried to Flip Blanton for Burnett

Posted by Corey Seidman, Mon, February 20, 2012 01:58 AM | Comments: 36
Posts

The Phillies tried to unload Blanton to get Burnett. (AP)

Option A: One year of Joe Blanton for $10.5 million
Option B: Two years of A.J. Burnett for $13 million

There is no way you’re choosing Option A, and that is why despite his disappointments and shortcomings Burnett would have made the Phillies better over the next two seasons.

In order to acquire Burnett — as tweeted by Buster Olney Sunday night — Ruben Amaro was reportedly attempting to trade Blanton to the Angels for Bobby Abreu (gasp!), before trading Abreu back to the Yankees for Burnett.

The salaries of Blanton and Abreu nearly match up — Abreu is due $9 million in 2012 — meaning that the Phillies likely wouldn’t have had to eat much, if any, salary in the proposed deal.

At the end of the day, Yankees GM Brian Cashman likely decided to trade Burnett to the Pirates because potential DH Raul Ibanez would be significantly cheaper than Abreu for slightly less value, and because improving the Pirates means much less than improving the Phillies.

Olney later tweeted that the Phillies saw two years of Burnett as a safe haven to losing Cole Hamels to free agency, but it’s hard to imagine anyone in the organization truly believing the addition of Burnett could make up for the loss of the growing beast that is Hamels.

Rather, the Phillies probably saw the Yankees’ urgency to trade Burnett as a way to snag a high-reward pitcher for just a wee bit more than they owe the low-ceiling Blanton. By including the Angels in the mix, the need for the Phils to eat salary was reduced. The Angels are trying to part with their redundancy (too many outfielders and first basemen) to improve in other areas.

It is this kind of outside-the-box thinking that separates Ruben Amaro from the typical general manager. And it is why, despite several questionable contracts, the Phillies are in good hands being led by someone tirelessly looking to upgrade.

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: 0 Jeff Dowder

    Was signing Blanton to an awful three year deal an example of RAJ’s “outside-the-box thinking”? Oh yeah, it provided “cost certainty”.

     
    • Posts: 312 Corey Seidman

      Avatar of Corey Seidman

      2009 was the best year of Blanton’s career. I can’t think of anyone who criticized the Blanton signing at the time. It’s easy to do so two years and an injury-plagued season after.

      As far as Kendrick goes… best-case scenario, he has a good 2012 that makes his 2013 salary a win for the Phillies. Or he pitches well and gets traded to a team that would want him for $4.5 million in 2013 rather than $5-5.25 through arbitration.

      It also saves the Phillies $585,000 this season. Kendrick move wasn’t that bad, it’s just that people pounce on anything related to KK and then others form opinions based on the initial reaction.

       
      • Posts: 1135 EricL

        Avatar of EricL

        How does giving Kendrick a raise from his current deal save them anything this season?

         
      • Posts: 312 Corey Seidman

        Avatar of Corey Seidman

        To answer Eric L.’s question directly below this, it saves them $585,000 this season. Kendrick’s initial one-year deal was worth $3.585 million. The structure of his new deal calls for $3MM in 2012 and $4.5MM in 2013.

         
      • Posts: 1135 EricL

        Avatar of EricL

        OIC.

        Isn’t that kind of irrelevant though? It’s not as if they’re short actual cash, it’s more that they’re short cap space which means that it’s the AAV that really matters?

        Or is it possible they’re short actual cash monies and need to free up half a mil here and there? That seems…unlikely.

         
      • Posts: 312 Corey Seidman

        Avatar of Corey Seidman

        Idk if this will appear below Eric L’s last response but…

        -Yes, for luxury tax purposes only the AAV matters, which means that Kendrick’s AAV actually goes UP with the two-year deal, from $3.585MM to $3.75 million.

        However, when you think about it from a pure dollar standpoint…say the Phillies DO go over the luxury tax threshold at some point this season by…$1 million.

        They would be forced to pay 22.5 percent for every dollar over the tax they are, so going over the tax would force them to pay an extra $225,000 of “dead money.”

        By re-structuring Kendrick’s contract and paying him $585,000 less in 2012, they would still be pocketing $360,000 even if they went over the tax.

         
  • Posts: 5530 Lefty

    Avatar of Lefty

    “Olney later tweeted that the Phillies saw two years of Burnett as a safe haven to losing Cole Hamels to free agency”

    Is Buster on designer drugs? If the deal had gone through, Burnett was Blanton’s lower priced replacement, nothing more.

     
  • Posts: 3085 Chuck A.

    Avatar of Chuck A.

    Kyle Kendrick needs to be removed from ANY negative discussion of how Amaro’s running this this team. It’s a real shame that the guy goes out, does what is asked of him (spot start, short relief, long relief)…..does it WELL…..and then gets nothing but blame and hate heaped on him.

     
  • Posts: 0 Mazinman

    On the plus side, the rejection of the deal seemed to have come from the Yankees, from what you wrote. This means that there is at least a little interest in teams out there to trade for Blanton. Once he proves he is healthy something might get worked out.

     
    • Posts: 1135 EricL

      Avatar of EricL

      Maybe, although the Angles are a bit of a special circumstance. First, they’re one of the few high-payroll teams who would be able to relatively easily accommodate Blanton’s $8.5mm salary without too much trouble, plus, as Corey states, they have a couple areas in which they’ve got a logjam of players, and as such are probably more willing than most teams to part with some of their pricier redundant players.

      I’m not saying you can’t get rid of Blanton, but the available destinations which wouldn’t require the Phils to take on a lot of salary are relatively few, I think.

       
      • Posts: 5530 Lefty

        Avatar of Lefty

        I don’t know why I didn’t catch this before, but with the addition of CJ Wilson, the Angels are flush with starters. Why would they have interest in Blanton? Off the top of my head, Haren, Weaver, Santana, Wilson. Do they really need a 5th starter that badly?

         
  • Posts: 1135 EricL

    Avatar of EricL

    “Phillies are in good hands being led by someone tirelessly looking to upgrade.”

    Maybe, maybe not. That attitude has basically decimated the player-development pipeline the last few years, forcing the team to increasingly rely on aging middle infielders for whom there are no heirs apparent.

    Rube has more flexibility than a lot of his peers due to the large payroll he is afforded, but I wouldn’t be so sure his scorched-Earth, always-looking-for-the-next-shiny-new-toy, impatient approach is ideal or sustainable.

     
    • Posts: 3085 Chuck A.

      Avatar of Chuck A.

      Spare us the drama, Eric. “scorched-Earth” ??? Puh…lease.

       
    • Posts: 0 George

      Not only spare us the drama, but be a little more fair about the team’s “decimated…player-development pipeline.” I suppose it never occurred to you that part of that is due to five straight years of high finishes, which guarantee low positions in the draft. And really, how many “heirs apparent” have the Phils traded besides pitchers and a few utility infielders? I’ll give you D’Arnaud, Gose, and Taylor, but neither of them plays middle infield. One other major position prospect traded was Singleton, but he was effectively blocked for the next five years. You can’t get the likes of Halladay, Lee, Oswalt, or Pence without giving up something, and the Phils got put of them under control long enough to have time to restock the farm.

       
      • Posts: 0 George

        “neither” should read “none.” Left part of my brain on the Kendrick thread; hope I can retrieve it.

         
      • Posts: 1135 EricL

        Avatar of EricL

        With regard to the positional/middle infield issue, allow me to quote…myself (from the Kendrick thread):

        “They’ve unloaded players who have a lot of value who could be used to fill those vacancies. It’s not that Jon Singleton or Jarred Cosart (or any other single player traded away) could play second or third base, but it’s conceivable that he could be used to fetch someone who can. When you trade guys like that you’re not just giving away the production they may or may not provide at some later point in time, you’re also giving away the value that is inherent in their raw-talent and renown.”

        A couple other issues:
        The Phillies would have finished highly without last season’s Pence trade. As I’ve sad ad nauseam here, they didn’t need to make that deal since they were already in first place by a wide margin and their offense was back on track after Utley had returned. They gave up a significant chunk of their minor-league talent for a guy who wasn’t needed–at least to fulfill the criterion you claim (the 5th consecutive year of a ‘high finish’)

        Second, Lee is here right now because he signed as free agent. The trade was 4 players for two years of Cliff Lee, that’s it. Those players, it turns out, probably won’t include any stars, so that was perhaps the best trade of the bunch, but to say it gave the Phils time-certainty to restock the farm system is false.

        The Halladay trade was basically giving up a lot to get a solid return, although it can be argued that Toronto had very little leverage and as such the package the Phils sent was perhaps a bit rich. I don’t, however, think there’s much to complain about here. Just pointing out that when you give up a lot of talent like that to acquire a marquee player, that’s fine, but you can’t do it over and over and over again–especially when you don’t need to make those moves (see: Pence, Hunter)–without it coming back to bite your system in the ass at a later point in time.

        The Oswalt trade didn’t cost as much as some of the others, since Happ is a stiff, although Villar and Gose in particular have the potential to be nice players. That being said, it’s going to be hard for you to defend your position that “the Phils got them under control long enough to restock the farm” on this one, considering Oswalt is no longer on the team and the farm system is amongst the worst in the majors right now.

        The Pence trade, again, didn’t need to be made at all and cost us a lot talent-wise. It was an imprudent trade, in my estimation, which didn’t save any money considering Pence is in line to make somewhere in the neighborhood of $25mm between the 2012 & 2013 seasons.

         
      • Posts: 577 Brian Sr. of CO

        Avatar of Brian Sr. of CO

        Arguing not to trade away players in the Farm system, just to trade them for another player? So its not the fact that he “decimated…player-development pipeline”, but decimated in the wrong areas? Conflicting opinions in one post honestly. It seems the arguement should be aimed more at making better moves overall, as opposed to decimating the farm system. Very little was said about making better moves, but more, pointless moves we didn’t need.

         
      • Posts: 1135 EricL

        Avatar of EricL

        Not really changing the original argument, just addressing different points that were raised in the response.

        I said that we don’t have any minor league depth due to the numerous trades Amaro has made over the last 3 years, and that’s left the Phillies with a decimated player-development pipeline.

        The response the question, “how many heirs apparent have the Phils traded,” and an assertion that the Phillies acquired players under team control to allow for the minors to restock.

        My rebuttal was that the positions the now-traded prospects play is irrelevant, because it’s the general organizational depth that you use to cover those positions. I also responded to a few other factual inaccuracies in that specific post, but my original point–that the minor league system has been decimated by the successive trades that have acquired high-priced veterans–remains valid.

        As an aside, my original post made reference to an over reliance on aging middle-infielders, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the minor league talent need be middle-infielders. If you develop exceptional players at non-middle-IF positions then you need not rely on them for the majority of your offensive production…

         
      • Posts: 1135 EricL

        Avatar of EricL

        Wow, that was horribly written. I really need to proofread these posts.

        My apologies if that butchered language is difficult to read.

         
      • Posts: 577 Brian Sr. of CO

        Avatar of Brian Sr. of CO

        Its not a thesis for are Masters LOL. I don’t think too many people care about proof reading the posts. I get the point of the particular position the player is in, if they are trade bait. Having the middle infielder ready to go in the farm may not be a big deal if you can trade a different position player to get what is beleived to be needed. That was how some of the trades of recent past were accomplished. I dont think that the trades were not needed including Pence, but more the trades to got rid of too much. I think Pence was needed, and that goes beyond Offense. He was upgrade in both Offense and Defense. RF was the weakest link entering 2011 IMO, even keeping in mind the dislike many fans had of Raul.

         
  • Posts: 5530 Lefty

    Avatar of Lefty

    Oh almost forgot, done deal Ibanez to the Yankees. All the best to you Raul, you’re a class act.

     
  • Posts: 0 Chris

    Ibanez done deal not returning. So I guess the handshake deal was a good idea. Dude is a class act and that’s why I knew he wasn’t going to screw us on that. Where are all the whiners now about that Arbitration offering.

     
    • Posts: 5530 Lefty

      Avatar of Lefty

      Do we get compensation for making him an arbitration offer?

      If so, then let me emphasize, – Class act.

       
      • Posts: 0 psujoe

        I believe we get a sandwhich pick.

        Thanks Raul

         
      • Posts: 0 Ryne Duren

        one last rauuuuuuuuuuul! thanks, and good luck!

         
    • Posts: 577 Brian Sr. of CO

      Avatar of Brian Sr. of CO

      And those of us who saw this one coming were called “idiots”. LOL. There, now we can get an extra pick to re-stock a “decimated…player-development pipeline.”

       
  • Posts: 0 George

    One thing I have to say about Amaro is that he does try to sign the classier guys like Raul.

    I’m worried about Papelbon, though. He’s always struck me as an egomaniac prone to childish and insipid behavior. I don’t know him personally, of course, but he seems such an a$$ at times that I don’t think I want to.

     
    • Posts: 3085 Chuck A.

      Avatar of Chuck A.

      Those bullpen guys walk to the beat of a different drum. Papelbon is an extreme case, I guess, but, if anything, his odd behavior works to his advantage when he’s staring down the batter.

       
    • Posts: 5530 Lefty

      Avatar of Lefty

      I think that was what I liked about Madson, he didn’t seem to have that “Kenny Powers” or “John Rocker” attitude. He had a temper for sure and it got him in trouble once, but he was never what I would call egomaniacal in nature.

       
    • Posts: 577 Brian Sr. of CO

      Avatar of Brian Sr. of CO

      Hard to tell with someone like Papelbon I think. He is not the T.O. of the baseball world, where you can definitely say he is an Egomaniac like T.O.. What I will say about Papelbon that I like (and it is not the years on the contract) is that he will “man-up” for his mistakes and losses. If he screws up, he will take it, and take the blame for it, instead of beating around the bush, or make excuses. He seems to be a “no excuse, I screwed up” type of pitcher. I find it difficult to see that he is truly an egomaniac with that in mind, but more of an attitude, combined with confidence, combined with a screwy sense of humor. I could be wrong.

       
  • Posts: 0 scott

    I have been reading this blog for a long time never posted here but i think blanton gets a bum rap most of time ,yea he had a crappy year last yr but hey that was last year .As they say hope springs eternal and although i am not a huge fan of him he did the job the yr before that so lets hope that he springs back burnett was not an upgrade in any stretch of imagination to me

     
  • Posts: 0 bacardipr05

    I wonder if Blanton gets the feelings he is a outcast. Basically most Phillies fan he is in the way of getting another piece or two to the puzzle.

     
  • Posts: 0 Jay from Leonardtown

    Eric,
    They’re getting close to a limit, lux.tax not withstanding. After several years of strong revenue growth, it only went up $6 mil from 2010 to 2011. They’re probably close to maxed out in terms of money on hand unless and until there’s a new TV deal. They’re also near the bottom (24th) in terms of net profit, and that’s been shrinking every year, too.

     
    • Posts: 1135 EricL

      Avatar of EricL

      So you’re saying that the 2009-2012 payroll current trend is unsustainable, just like I claimed, right?

       
    • Posts: 5530 Lefty

      Avatar of Lefty

      24th in net profit? Could you share a link for us please Jay? Thanks.

       
  • Posts: 103 buffy08210

    Avatar of buffy08210

    We seem to be in for a wild ride with Ocho. Check out the video from his high school days in the bottom right of this webpage: http://deadspin.com/5048347/the-papelbon-dirty-dancing-videos-are-here-oh-man

     
 
Leave a Comment

>> Create a new Phillies Nation account.
>> Already registered with Phillies Nation? Log in here.
>> Comment without logging in:






Please ensure your comments comply with our Comment Policy.