Generally, the Beerleaguer peanut gallery disapproves of the Phillies' decision to trade for right-hander Joe Blanton. Have they underestimated the overall impact of this deal?
“Essentially Blanton has much more in common with Jon Lieber than the girth. He strikes me as being more or less the same pitcher. Gives up a ton of hits, pitches deep into the game. Flattering comparisons aside, the guy's 5-12 on a plus-.500 team. Don't tell me to look beyond the numbers. He hasn't even been mediocre. That just isn't worth two of your better prospects under any circumstances. They overpaid, big-time. (But) if they use this deal as a springboard to dump Myers, I will instead hail it as an unsurpassably brilliant transaction.” – RSB
“Blanton gives us a safety net that the pitching staff hs lacked all year. He can step in right now for Eaton, an upgrade, and that allows Happ to step in for Myers if they choose to shift him to the pen or if he fails again as SP. The Phillies window is closing and they needed to add a SP to make a serious post-season run. If they do so, this is a pretty good deal regardless of how Cardenas turns out. If, however, Blanton's badly deteriorated K/BB ratio is the product of a hidden injury, this trade could be a major disaster.” -- clout
“The Blanton-B list type of deal binds our franchise to mediocrity. I feel this team as constructed before the trade was good enough to make the post-season. I thought the point of upgrading was to make the team sufficiently better to actually make an impact in the playoffs. Does anyone actually feel comfortable with any pitcher beyond Cole Hamels starting a game in October? I thought Burnett or Bedard at least gave that glimmer of real playoff impact potential upside. Getting another "innings eater" is fine and dandy if the franchise was simply looking to win 85 games, but the bar should be set higher. Debating the talent level of the minor leaguers given is not the point, because regardless of how they mature- they are current trading chips, and I was hoping those chips would be traded in for real impact potential rather than steady-as-she-goes type players. These moves continue to slowly bleed the farm system without bringing back anything really substantial. The risk averse nature of the dealmaking will never bring a big enough reward.”
-- Pharmer Dan
Beerleaguer: It’s a slightly better deal than readers are giving the Phillies credit for. The best available pitching was off the table. Their farm system is limited. The A's wouldn't settle for anything less than the best minor league talent. We’ll see if Cardenas becomes a Major League star in three years. The Phillies didn’t exactly give Outman a ringing endorsement by reassigning him to the bullpen.
Aside from the benefit of replacing Eaton and adding depth, Blanton becomes another commodity for teams in the hunt. They're not locked into him the way they are with other pitchers. There’s no baggage. They could always deal him – and I’m not entirely convinced they’re finished dealing. Lefty relievers John Grabow and Brian Fuentes are reportedly on their radar. And for some reason, I can’t shake this Matt Holliday dream.
Indeed, Blanton could become Jon Lieber. RSB is correct: He's hittable in a Lieber sort of way. Or, he could thrive in Philadelphia and become a very sound middle rotation addition. He could ride off NL unfamiliarity alone for the rest of the season. I'm less enthused about 2009 and 2010. We've seen Blanton's ceiling. In reading comments from other sites, it sounds like if you give Blanton some runs to play with, he’s a different pitcher.
If Blanton and Myers can crank it up in the second half, they will win the division - and how 'bout that J.A. Happ, with his seven, no-hit, 12 strikeout innings yesterday in AAA?