On Sunday night, AOL Fanhouse's Ed Price tweeted the following regarding the Phillies starting pitcher Joe Blanton:
To the list of Ps avail. in trade -- Halladay, Lowe, Meche, Millwood -- add Joe Blanton. He's arb-elig & #Phillies could use $ on relief.
This tweet was confirmed by some Philly sports writers on Monday. Blanton is arbitration eligible after making $5.5 million in 2009. Blanton went 12-8 with a 4.05 ERA and a 1.32 WHIP in 2009. He struck out 7.5/9 and walked 2.7/9 resulting in a respectable 2.76 K/BB ratio. His HR/9 of 1.38 and HR/FB ratio of 13.0% was his highest since 2004, and both were well above his career averages of 0.96% and 9/0% respectively.
Blanton is good for 200+ innings every year, but I don't expect him to continue striking out as many as he did in 2009, nor do I expect him to continue giving up so many long balls.
George Sherrill is arbitration eligible and could make around $4 million in 2010. The Phillies are looking for a reliever and the Dodgers are looking for a starting pitcher. So why not deal Sherrill for Blanton straight up, as the deal would help both teams address their offseason needs. Sherrill will more than likely be cheaper than some of the alternatives on the free agent market. The Phils would swap out Blanton's arb contract for Sherrill's arb contract.
The Phillies could land a cheaper starting pitcher on the free agent market to hold the sport for pitching prospect Kyle Drabek who could be ready by mid-season, or next season at the latest. Sherrill could fill in for closer Brad Lidge should Lidge continue to ptich poorly and blow saves in 2010
Meanwhile the Dodgers have a surplus in the bullpen making Sherrill expendable. Plus, the Dodgers have a prospect or their own in the name of Josh Lindblom who almost made the team out of spring training in 2009, who is ready or very close to being ready for big league action.