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Phillies sign Joe Blanton to a three-year, $24 million extension

Jan 21, 2010, 2:39 PM EDT

Blanton headshot.jpgUPDATE: Forget that arbitration nonsense below, the Phillies just signed Blanton to a three-year, $24 million extension.  And no, Cliff Lee would not have signed for that, so I suppose the Phillies are better off today than they were yesterday.

11:30 A.M.: Lost (by me anyway) in all of the arbitration stuff these past few days was the fact that Joe Blanton has asked for $10.25 million and the Phillies have countered with $7.5 million.

Deep Thought #1:  If the Phillies are willing to pay Joe Blanton $7.5 million — and risk paying him $10.25 million — why weren’t they willing to pay Cliff Lee $9 million and deal Blanton for a reliever or something? Yeah, I know Lee walks next year, but if there is any team that should be in win-now mode it’s the the Phillies, and for the price of $1.5 million, they could have drastically-increased their chances of winning it all.

Deep Thought #2:  Tim Lincecum was probably insulted by the Giants’ $8 million offer from the get-go, but I wonder how he reacted when he learned that he, a two-time Cy Young award winner, was offered a mere half million than Joe “basically average” Blanton?

  1. ditmars1929 - Jan 21, 2010 at 11:37 AM

    Deep thought #2 was hilarious. Thanks for that. I’d have kept Lee for another year, even if he’s walking, too. And though I agree with the win-now philosophy for the Phillies, I think the Yankees will repeat.

  2. Moses Green - Jan 21, 2010 at 11:47 AM


  3. Alex K - Jan 21, 2010 at 11:47 AM

    I find it amusing that Blanton is asking for more than has ever been awarded in arbitration. Methinks he won’t win that case.

  4. Bruce - Jan 21, 2010 at 11:54 AM

    The Giants need to eat crow….and sign Timmy to deal comparable to King Felix, or better…..hell, they could throw in pound of good Humboldt County weed.

  5. JSF - Jan 21, 2010 at 11:58 AM

    There seems to be more to the Lee story than has come out, as Amaro apparently did an abrupt 180 on him. They are touting the prospects they got for Lee, and indeed Gillies and Aumant look good to me, but another year of Lee and the draft picks after next year would have made sense. Unless there is something else occurring following the Blanton settlement. That being said, Blanton was far better than a “basically average” pitcher. Look at his ERA in this park, and look at his K/BB ratio. He was really solid the second half of the season, and has been an anchor in a rotation that needs them. But Halladay and Lee pitching 4-5 games in a 7 game World Series would have been a glorious thing to contemplate….

  6. Anon - Jan 21, 2010 at 12:02 PM

    Every version of the Lee vs. Blanton story I’ve seen, including this one, presents as a legit option keeping Lee for a year and trading Blanton for a reliever. Was there anything to the latter option? That is, were there any stories/rumors/tweets on what the Phils could have expected in return for Blanton and his possiblt $10 million contract? I don’t remember any but I certainly might have missed something.

  7. Jonny5 - Jan 21, 2010 at 12:13 PM

    Amen on both counts. Imo there must have been some back room hush hush deal making that moved Lee to Seattle. Anything else just doesn’t make sense.

  8. Moses Green - Jan 21, 2010 at 12:16 PM

    Maybe Cliff Lee is a serial killer, only not a benign serial killer like Dexter. Like a serial killer who only kills babies. Any of you geniuses ever think about that? Well? Didja?

  9. Grant - Jan 21, 2010 at 12:19 PM

    Well, they always could have non-tendered Blanton. I guess that’s a bit much for a useful player, but he is pretty pricey.

  10. KingJoe! - Jan 21, 2010 at 1:20 PM

    They needed the return on the trade for Lee to finalize the trade for Halladay and add a few young guys for their own squad. Did you miss this part of the trade? They didn’t cut Lee. The ptiching prospect they got will be a very good middle relief guy this year and a potential top closer in two years. It is not always about money. Stop misleading people.

  11. IdahoMariner - Jan 21, 2010 at 1:30 PM

    I am blissfully happy to have the Mariners bear the benefits of the Phillies’ misstep — but it still puzzles me why they couldn’t have both. I was rooting for them in the WS this year, and I thought having Halladay and Lee at the top of your rotation would be a no-brainer, even for only a year. still puzzled, but happy as a clam to have King Felix and Lee at the top of our rotation.

  12. GBSimons - Jan 21, 2010 at 1:53 PM

    The appeals for help to Haiti, classy.
    This, the complete opposite.

  13. eaglealan64 - Jan 21, 2010 at 2:16 PM

    Why should the Phillies be in win now mode?? They’re in win over the next 4 years mode and Blanton plus the prospects for Lee does more for that than one year of Lee plus the much worse prospects Blanton gets you back.

  14. jsf - Jan 21, 2010 at 2:54 PM

    looks a lot better with the extension for sure.

  15. Moses Green - Jan 21, 2010 at 2:58 PM

    Lighten up people, everyone has their panties in a bunch. I’m not actually suggesting that Cliff Lee is in fact a serial killer of any stripe, Dexter or baby killing or anywhere in between. I am suggesting that players are people with actual people personalities, some of which are not conducive to team atmosphere or long term performance. It’s very difficult to evaluate the moves that GM’s make without knowing the people and true reasons involved. Clearly they wouldn’t have been able to lock up Cliff Lee for 3 years $24 million. So I’m also suggesting it’s not as black and white as “look Amaro took Blanton when he could have had Cliff Lee.” It’s just not that simple, never was, no one’s a serial killer, now you can chill fuck out, k?

  16. Jonny5 - Jan 21, 2010 at 3:04 PM

    Damn, shows how much I know. I figured he’d get 8.5 per year for 3. I think it’s a great deal for Philly. Blanton is a Moose who won’t be on the DL. He eats up innings like cookie monster. I like the guy.

  17. excatcher - Jan 21, 2010 at 3:08 PM

    Big difference between 1st year arb and 3rd year. Lincecum at $8M is a bargain, Blanton is an overpay, but you know, service time. That’s how the system is.
    Lincecum probably choked on his bongwater when he heard what Blanton was asking for.

  18. Anon - Jan 21, 2010 at 3:45 PM

    Yeah, non-tendering him would have been a huge mistake. I have no doubt that Blanton has value to someone – apparently to the Phils, given the late-day contract announcement. And I’m not saying he’s Cliff Lee. I’m just wondering whether keeping Lee instead of Blanton was really a viable option.

  19. Walking Raven Dispensary - Feb 2, 2010 at 3:46 PM

    You made a good point, but have you really thought about how it might affect different people? I’m not saying you’re wrong, I just desire to indicate that there’s more than one side to this story.

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