Jan 182011
 
Phillies RHP Joe Blanton

Phillies RHP Joe Blanton

By Justin Adkins:

Once the euphoria died down a little after the Phillies and general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. assembled the Four Horsemen, many people’s thoughts turned to what would be done with starting pitcher Joe Blanton.

Adding Cliff Lee’s substantial contract was no small thing for an organization notorious for being fiscally conservative.  For them to agree to take the plunge on Lee, something was going to have to give.  Moving Blanton and his contract would make sense.

But would the Phillies be able to trade the pillowy right hander?  More specifically, would they be able to convince a team to take on the $8.5 million owed to him not only this year but the next as well?

It seemed highly likely they would try.  And with today’s re-signing of Kyle Kendrick — possibly the fifth starter if Blanton is gone — it seemed like an even more obvious conclusion to make.  Blanton would be traded.

Don’t tell that to Amaro, though.

“I don’t feel comfortable doing it,” Amaro told FOXSports.com regarding trading Blanton. “He’s going to pitch for the Phillies, probably for the entire season.”

Really?

“We do not need to trade the man,” Amaro said.

Right.  And just like when Andy Reid said Donovan McNabb would be his starter in 2010, and that Kevin Kolb would be his starter after his concussion, and that Sean McDermott was returning as defensive coordinator, Amaro is shoveling it ankle deep.

No one should take Amaro at his word here.  Common sense dictates that he is trying to drum up interest and build up value in the superfluous starter.

“Why would we want to trade the guy?” Amaro said. “He gives us a whole lot of protection. I’d stack him up against the rest of the fifth starters in the league.”

Yeah.  Despite evidence to the contrary, Amaro has not moved his office to the Novacare complex.

Expect Blanton to be moved during Spring Training at the latest, especially if another team suffers a pitching injury.

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