Ruben Amaro stressed today that he does not feel comfortable in trading away Joe Blanton, the slated fifth starter, before the season starts.
“I don’t feel comfortable doing it,” Amaro told FOXSports.com. “He’s going to pitch for the Phillies, probably for the entire season.”
The 30-year-old right-handed pitcher is a hard salary to move. He’s guaranteed $8.5 million this upcoming season. With his salary, he puts the Phillies payroll up at $164 million, a new franchise high and $19 million more than the 2010 payroll. But despite that, Amaro still doesn’t see the point in trading Heavy B for salary reasons.
Last season, Blanton went 9-6 with a 4.82 ERA. Those numbers aren’t worth the $8.5 guaranteed despite missing the beginning of the season with an oblique strain suffered in the Spring. It’s going to be hard moving Blanton anyway, something I’m sure Amaro already tried doing and has given up on for now.
But Amaro could also be saving Blanton as a trading chip. With Kyle Kendrick avoiding arbitration and with Vance Worley in the mix, the Phillies could easily replace Blanton if they were to trade him during the season. If Dom Brown or Ben Francisco or any combination in the outfield doesn’t work, I think Blanton would be used in a trade for help in the outfield.