The Phillies and their three remaining arbitration eligible players, Shane Victorino, Joe Blanton and Carlos Ruiz, have exchanged figures.
According to reports, Victorino wants $5.8 million, the Phillies countered with $4.75 million; Blanton seeks $10.5 million, compared to the Phils offer of $7.5 million; and Carlos Ruiz has asked for $2.5 million, and the Phils offered $1.7 million. Blanton's request is nearly $5 million more than the right-hander earned last season. According to CSNPhilly's Jim Salisbury, the club is trying to hammer out a multiyear deal with their centerfielder, one that would take him through 2011.
Beerleaguer: Is it any wonder the Phillies attempted to move Blanton this fall? This would be a record sum in arbitration. He's asking for $1.5 million more than Cliff Lee will make this season. To me, someone like Jason Marquis, who got a two-year, $15 million deal on the open market, is a fair Blanton comp. The Phillies went in low, but if the two sides head to arbitration with these figures, I like the Phils' chances.
Nevertheless, you can't blame the guy; Blanton is exactly the type of middle-of-the-road starter getting burned by this market, and this might actually be his best shot to cash in. A couple years ago, he could expect to hit Carlos Silva-type free agent paydirt. Not anymore brother.