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Joe BlantonPaul emailed me this morning to ask me my thoughts on the Phillies trade for A’s SP Joe Blanton…

Paul: Mr. Ward, your thoughts?

Coley: Blanton is a clear upgrade over Eaton and will help get the Phils to the playoffs. But he’s not the kind of pitcher who will dominate in the playoffs. He’s not a guy who’s going to go toe to toe with Josh Beckett, CC Sabathia, Rich Harden or Johan Santana and win. I feel like people are saying the same things about Blanton that they said about Carlos Silva this winter: he’s not that good, but he’ll eat innings and that’s valuable. So I suppose, at the very least, we’re not paying Blanton nearly as much as the Mariners are paying Silva. That’s something, right?

Sarah: Well, you also have to consider that Blanton won’t be matched up against Sabathia, Beckett, Santana, etc…because that will be Hamels’ job. Blanton will be matched up against the likes of a Dice-K.

Paul: Coley, your unwavering insistence that the Phillies are playoff bound is still funny to me. I think Blanton will be an average or slightly below average starter in Philly. Another Kyle Kendrick, basically. And it’s amazing to me that Philly’s farm system was THIS poor that guys like Outman and Cardenas were two of your top 4 prospects.

Coley: Yeah, the farm system sucks. And I know Blanton won’t have to match up against Beckett. But right now the Phillies don’t have a number 2 starter. What we needed was a number 2 starter. And what we got is Blanton. Here are the top two starters from teams that are likely to make the playoffs in the NL:

Webb and Haren

Zambrano and Harden

Sabbathia and Sheets

Santana and Martinez (or Pelfrey)

Is Blanton as good as any of the pitchers listed above? No. Is he close? Not really.

Basically, the Phils need to hope that Brett Myers remembers how to be a badass. And that’s a lot to hope for, considering Myers is currently a minor league pitcher.

MLB Trade Rumors has compiled a rundown of what the blogosphere is saying about the Blanton trade. Read it here.

18 Responses to “So how about that Joe Blanton trade?”

  1. Please keep the Giants cracks to a minimum. No \"what don\’t they need?\" type statements. Truly, the Giants are only a couple bats away from being an over .500 team. I just hope they don\’t trade away pitching to try and get some, but damn, Adam Dunn would have fun hitting balls into McCovey Cove.

  2. Nick Kapur says:

    Kirk, I\’m sorry, but I think I can safely assure you that Giants cracks will NOT be kept to a minimum. We are duty-bound by site charter to provide \"in-your-face\" commentary and making as many Giants cracks as possible is part and parcel of that mandate.

    Besides, the Giants are certainly not \"two bats\" away. They need an outfielder, a first baseman, a second baseman, a shortstop, and a third baseman. Outside of Rowand and Molina, they are getting well below-average offensive production from every position on the diamond.

  3. Danny O says:

    Braves: More home games. And a bug in Bobby Cox’s ear to tell him that Mark Teixiera will somehow make it if he hits fifth and McCann moves up to cleanup.

  4. Lyndsay says:

    I really can’t tell you what the Red Sox need. certainly not any starting pitchers – we got those in droves. ummm a schedule more heavily-favored toward home games? can we trade home and away games? (and yes I said “we’ because I occasionally back up Kevin Cash. I’m on the phone list as like the 16th backup or something).

  5. Sarah Green says:

    Yes, there was an intriguing article in USA Today the other day about how this has been a hard year for any team to win on the road. Curious….

    Glad to know you are the one they turn to (after Pedroia, of course). :)

  6. Danny O says:

    Yeah, every team is hurtin on the road, but the Bravos are really bad (7-18). Only Seattle has a worse record away from home (7-20). Maybe they should up the meal money for players.

  7. Lyndsay says:

    I should add that I wish we could take our awesome 5th/6th/7th pitchers like Masterson and Buchholz and Ted Williamize them – i.e. cryogenically freeze them at their current level of physical fitness and talent, bring them out during the “rebuilding” years. and that way the Steinbrenners can’t get their grubby hands on them either. The market dictates that we unload them somewhere in exchange for a decent shortstopo or someone extra in the bullpen, but dammit I want us to hoard all the pitching talent, and I ain’t sharin!

  8. Nick Kapur says:

    Lyndsay, there is no such thing as too much pitching, as the Sox learned as recently as two years ago when they thought they had too much pitching and traded away Arroyo for Wily Mo. As we can see, Colon has already been installed into the rotation and the Sox already need Masterson again, now that Matsuzaka has joined Buchholz on the DL.

  9. Sarah Green says:

    And I actually agree with Terry Francona that Masterson is not ready for the big leagues yet. He’s pitched extremely well so far, but he’s also still just a double-A pitcher. He needs more seasoning. Which gives the Red Sox more time!

    I think actually, the Red Sox’ willingness to use the 15 day DL more this year comes from the fact that they do have some “extra” starters. If that means they can be more conservative with their starting pitchers, I think it’s a good thing. And if it means we’ll trade someone for something we need, that’s good too—though I doubt you will see Masterson shipped out. And Theo has already shown that Buchholz is not for sale. We can rest easy on that score, I think.

  10. “Paul: Coley, your unwavering insistence that the Phillies are playoff bound is still funny to me”.

    Me too. Especially as the Mets have now caught you up!!! Hurrah!!!!!

    I think the point with this is that the trade has been something of a step in the right (albeit short-term) direction and at the very least has not made things worse.

    Having said that, the time for gloating isn’t really upon us given my teams’ ever so tiny collapse at the end of last year. So for that I apologise although still maintain the right to gloat once more if we don’t screw it up this time around.

  11. Jon, the Mets are in second place now. You jinxed it. It’s all your fault. Jerk.

  12. Coley – “Santana and Martinez (or Pelfrey)” hmmm
    Maine and/or Perez would be the Mets #2 SP

  13. Doug, if the Phillies play the Mets in the postseason, I desperately want them to face Perez as often as possible. That guy is terrible. And Maine has been shaky lately. He’s only pitched into the eighth inning once this year. I think the way Pelfrey is going, he might very well be the team’s number two by the end of the season.

  14. Coley,

    I’m really not a jerk, honest. I just have Mets fever all the time :-)

    You may be right about jinxing it, but we’ll just see what happens

  15. Paul Moro says:

    Coley, I think Maine is technically #2 right now. Pelfrey still doesn’t strike enough guys out to be THIS good. And with Delgado and Castillo, their IF defense isn’t all that strong enough to fully complement Pelfrey’s sinker. But it’s really nice to see him not walk 4 hitters anymore.

  16. Jon L, Ryan Howard and Pat the Bat each came to the plate with the bases loaded in the top of the ninth this afternoon with a chance to tie the game, and both failed (though Pat had two homers and a double earlier in the game, so we’ll cut him some slack). So maybe I jinxed it by saying you jinxed it?

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