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Are the Blue Jays interested in Joe Blanton?

Mar 10, 2012, 5:08 PM EDT

Joe Blanton Getty Getty Images

Take from this what you will, but Jon Paul Morosi of reports that Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos scouted today’s Orioles-Phillies game. It’s possible he was just getting a look at a division rival, but Morosi notes that Anthopoulos left after Joe Blanton after was done pitching.

Morosi writes that the Blue Jays are interested in pitching and that Blanton is available in the right deal, so this has a chance of being a match on paper. If Anthopoulos was truly there to see Blanton, he probably liked what he saw. The 31-year-old right-hander allowed four hits over three shutout innings while striking out three and walking just one.

Of course, Blanton was limited to just 41 1/3 innings at the major league level last season due to an elbow injury. Even with a strong showing this spring, it’s likely the Phillies would have to eat a portion of his $8.5 million salary for this season in a potential deal.

It’s not clear what direction the Phillies would go if they end up finding a suitor for Blanton. Kyle Kendrick and Joel Pineiro are among the internal alternatives for a rotation spot, but they could target Roy Oswalt if they get some salary relief.

  1. mikeincmn - Mar 10, 2012 at 5:25 PM

    You know, I get the jays wanting added depth since McGowan cannot be counted on in much capacity and next up is Aaron Laffey but still, all I can think about is the perceived fall from grace of Kyle drabek here. Blanton simply doesn’t have the stuff to do well in the al east, but as bad as drabek was last here, surely he is a better option than Joe freaking Blanton or laffey?

    • bleedgreen - Mar 10, 2012 at 8:20 PM

      Joe is not a bad pitcher when he’s healthy. The problem is that he hasn’t been healthy. He’s a decent #3 on most teams, quite honestly. He just gets lost in the shuffle of Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels and, at least from last years performance, Vance Worley (who is MUCH MUCH cheaper, and roughly equivalent in the eyes of many). We don’t need to be paying almost $10Million to a #5 when we have Kyle Kendrick who can be a #5 just fine. I also wonder if we can unload Blanton if they Phils don’t resign Oswalt or give that money to Hamels/Victorino.

      • djpostl - Mar 10, 2012 at 9:43 PM

        Blanton isn’t what I would call a No. 3 on most teams. He’s been posting ERA north (most years well north) of 4.00 in the NL and his last decent 3 year split was ’05-’07 and even that had a wretched 4.82 ERA season stuffed in between two very solid years.

        Factor in the AL East grind (and I don’t want to hear it, start after start versus those lineups just wears pitchers down) and he most certainly is not a No. 3.

      • paperlions - Mar 11, 2012 at 11:57 AM

        If Blanton was capable of being a decent #3, teams would be jumping at the chance to take on his $8.5M salary, which is a very good deal for a solid #3. But the Phils can’t even dump most of his salary off on someone else because he’s been more like a #5, even when healthy.

  2. cur68 - Mar 10, 2012 at 8:29 PM

    If Anthopolous breaks up what remains of Fat Joe & the Terror Squad, then I dare say the Philly’s just got a little less interesting. I’m not sure what value Blanton adds to the Beaver Men, though. He could be Francisco Cordero insurance I suppose, but I don’t see his big earnest face in the staring lineup anywhere. Only worth it if Anthopolous can leverage some dough out of Amaro Jr to go along with Big Joe.

    • Utley's Hair - Mar 11, 2012 at 3:46 AM

      So you want Joe Blanton and some fried dough?

      • cur68 - Mar 11, 2012 at 11:34 AM

        No. He’s enough fried dough on his own. A big salad maybe.

  3. prosourcetalk - Mar 10, 2012 at 8:48 PM

    Joe Blanton sucks

  4. proudlycanadian - Mar 10, 2012 at 9:09 PM

    AA often scouts players who might be traded even if he is not interested in those players. AA has been known to put together 3 team trades. Thus, if he was scouting Blanton, it might have been because he thinks that there may be a way to to use him as a trade chip. So far, the projected starters (Romero, Morrow, Alvarez, Cecil, and McGowan have all pitched well. Drabek still needs work on his delivery and has probably been passed on the depth chart by young Drew Hutchinson.

    • proudlycanadian - Mar 11, 2012 at 7:42 AM

      I read Morosi’s article again with some interest. He suggests that the Phillies might be interested in a left fielder. (The Jays also have a spare first baseman in Cooper who was the PCL batting champ last year.) On the Jays, Snider and Thames are competing for the left field position with Snider outplaying Thames so far. Thames has played well, but Snider has shown more power and a stronger throwing arm. If the Jays traded for Blanton, Cecil would be the pitcher on the bubble. He has not given up a run so far, but there are the usual concerns about his velocity. McGowan was very impressive in the 2 innings he pitched yesterday. The Jays do not want to rush Hutchinson, but have said that they expect that he will be ready to pitch in the AL by the All Star break.

  5. threeskis - Mar 11, 2012 at 8:04 AM

    RAJ wants Travis d’arnaud back….could see this happeneing along with another prospect or LF

    • proudlycanadian - Mar 11, 2012 at 8:33 AM

      Dream on. D’Arnaud is worth a lot more than Blanton. Now if he wants Drabek for Blanton, there might be a deal.

      • mathieug79 - Mar 11, 2012 at 11:06 AM

        Are you out of your mind, if we get blanton, its for salary relief only. No way the jays give up a prospect (that most jays fan are already throwing under the bus) in drabek, he’s still young and will work out his issues. I won’t be surprised to see drabek have a great comeback year this year, he’s got the stuff to do it. don’t see AA giving up on him for at least a couple years. but you’re dead on on d’arnaud, unless we get a signed coles hamel i don’t see it happening.

      • proudlycanadian - Mar 11, 2012 at 11:25 AM

        Regarding Drabek! The time to trade a turkey is when other teams still think that he has some upside. Drabek seems to have great stuff, but is still unable to throw strikes. An example of a turkey trade was when the Mariners traded Pineda to the Yankees. They thought that he was becoming a fat turkey with declining production and velocity.

  6. dirtyharry1971 - Mar 11, 2012 at 6:36 PM

    Blanton would be a batting practice pitcher in the AL east, with that said id love to see the jays sign this guy but they are so cheap i doubt they could afford to add joe’s salary, but thats what happens when your franchise has so few fans you can actually count them on one hand

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