The Phillies haven’t made it clear if they are buyers or sellers at the deadline just yet, but one thing made clear is the availability of starting pitcher Joe Blanton.
The Phillies said that Blanton is available in a potential trade, and that the team with the most interest in him right now is Baltimore.
Orioles beat writer Brittany Ghiroli posted in her blog:
“He’s there if they want him,” a source said of Blanton’s availability to the Orioles, who have actively pursued all available starting pitching options under executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette.
But, so far, that search has come up dry and Baltimore’s best option may be Blanton. The 31-year-old has been heavily scouted by the Orioles and has gone 2-0 with a 2.81 ERA in his last three starts, pitching at least six innings in 10 consecutive games.
Acquiring Blanton could help stabilize an Orioles rotation that has been woefully inconsistent. The Orioles are without their best starter, right-hander Jason Hammel, probably until September and Opening Day rotation arms Jake Arrieta and Brian Matusz are currently in Triple-A after prolonged struggles at the Major League level.
What makes Blanton’s value go up is that the Orioles really need him, according to the last graph which says they are without Hammel, Arrieta and Matusz.
The Phillies want a Major League-ready utility player or a prospect who could be a viable middle reliever according to a source. If Blanton is dealt, Kyle Kendrick would pitch in the rotation for the remainder of the season.