Money may deter Blanton deal
With Tuesday’s 4 p.m. ET Trade Deadline just hours away, the Phillies and Orioles have been unable to find common ground on a deal that would send right-hander Joe Blanton to Baltimore. Money is the roadblock, and it might prevent the trade from happening.
Blanton, who becomes a free agent after the season, is owed about $3 million the remainder of the year. The Orioles would like the Phillies to pay some of that, but the Phillies would like a better prospect in return if they do.
Baltimore, however, is unwilling to give up an impact player for a rental, so the Phillies have cooled on the idea of a trade because it makes little sense for them to trade Blanton while paying much of his salary and getting little in return.
“He’s there if they want him,” a source said of Blanton’s availability to the O’s, who have executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette actively pursuing all available starting pitching options.
Blanton has been heavily scouted by the Orioles while going 2-0 with a 2.81 ERA in his past three starts, pitching at least six innings in 10 consecutive games.
Acquiring Blanton could help stabilize a rotation that has been woefully inconsistent. The Orioles are without their best starter, right-hander Jason Hammel, probably until September. Jake Arrieta and Brian Matusz, both of whom were in the Opening Day rotation, are currently in Triple-A after prolonged struggles at the Major League level.
The asking price for Blanton is less than other available arms, and the O’s — who are telling teams that top prospects Dylan Bundy and Manny Machado are off the table — don’t have a lot of other trade chips in a market where numerous clubs are seeking starting pitching.
Blanton is 8-9 with a 4.59 ERA in 20 starts. The right-hander is susceptible to the long ball, having allowed 22 homers, but he has one of the best strikeout-to-walk ratios in the Majors at 115-18.