Paul 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.