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Blog Entry

Blanton certain to depart Philly

Posted on: December 14, 2010 4:03 pm
 
Blanton With Cliff Lee in the fold, the Phillies are attempting to clear out salary by trading starter Joe Blanton and left fielder Raul Ibanez.

While moving Ibanez is a long shot, the Phillies figure to be able to move Blanton even with his pedestrian 4.82 ERA in 174 2/3 innings as Blanton has a history of being a quality innings-eater. In fact, Blanton's 2010 isn't as bad as it seems because his xFIP was at a more manageable 4.06, while his ERA in August and September was a combined 3.23. There's value here.

The Phillies will certainly have to eat some of the two years and $17 million remaining on Blanton's deal, but interest is high enough and the motivation on Philadelphia's end is enough that agent Casey Close definitively told SI.com's Jon Heyman that "he's not staying in Philly."

Close isn't sure where Blanton will end up, but reports had him linked to the Red Sox before that was debunked.

So where could he end up? Well, both the Rangers and Yankees are searching for an arm after losing out on Cliff Lee, so Blanton could be a consolation prize. If this happens, the Phillies would have traded Cliff Lee to extend Blanton, then signed Lee and traded Blanton to the team that missed out on Lee. Baseball works in funny ways.

-- Evan Brunell

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Category: MLB
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