File this one away, says Jon Morosi of Fox Sports. Um…

Dun dun dun!!!!!

More like dumb dumb dumb! HEYO!

Seriously. Joe fucking Blanton? At $8.5-million dollars?

Giving up some kind of non-bag of balls asset? For guy who was out with elbow trouble from mid-May to mid-September last year, and came back only as a reliever? Who hasn’t hit the 200 inning mark since 2007? Which was also the last full season in which he posted a sub-4.30 FIP? Who has the eighth-worst HR/FB rate, and thirteenth-worst HR/9 rate among the 139 pitchers who threw at least 200 total innings over the last two years?

To pitch for the Blue Jays?

Yeah… I think I can find a place to file that one.



Well now, maybe we should hold our horses on this “Blanton sucks” / “this is ridiculous” talk. A couple tidbits from Twitter:

@SMcEwen_eh points out that “Blanton posted a 2.96 bbFIP in 2011 in small sample. Latos posted 3.05 bbFIP.”

@NickdaNutz says that Blanton’s “extreme HR/FB rate is unsustainable = regression. Blanton developed a sinker which has led to success in 2011 and so far in 2012.” He points us to an interesting RotoGraphs piece from last May about Blanton’s focus on keeping the ball on the ground more. And he also notes the .362 BABIP Blanton posted in last season’s 41 innings– a far cry from his career (Oakland-influenced) .299 BABIP, or the .291 he posted in his first season with the Phillies.

Meanwhile, at the Fan590, Mike Wilner notes that “prior to the game, Jays’ manager John Farrell joined pitching coach Bruce Walton to check out Brett Cecil’s bullpen session. Farrell was only there to see Cecil, and left when he was done. Managers don’t usually watch starters’ bullpens, so maybe the Jays have some concern there.”

Hmmm. OK, I’ll grant that there could possibly be more to this than my initial reaction allowed for. Which was, y’know, to be entirely smugly dismissive, in case you didn’t notice. Hmmm.

Comments (41)

  1. Wilner said Farrell and Walton were watching Cecil before the game today, which is abnormal. Hmmm.

    • I would take a 2012 season of Kyle Drabek over one of Joe Blanton straight up, no question.

      Though… this updated stuff about his sinker is kinda interesting– even if his success has been in a pretty small sample– sandwiched around four months off with what BP calls an “elbow impingement”.

      • Agreed, Also if Blanton’s new super sinker is as good as people claim why would Philly dump him now. Oswalt will likely cost more than Blanton anyway.

      • AGREED.

        I wonder if the way are over .500 and in a race come August if they will go out and pick up some trade deadline SP and make a run… Why the fuck not eh?

  2. I’d say its much more likely that AA was watching Brian Matusz who pitched 4 innings to Blanton’s 3.

  3. I will just say that the notion the Jays would be interested in Blanton is completely ridiculous to me. Isn’t Aaron Laffey already filling the spot of crappy-backup-with-terrible-stats and doing it for about 8 million less $$.

  4. Blanton? I hope AA shoves that scouting report under file number 13.

  5. Hopefully, just doing his due diligence.

    • AA is nothing if not diligent. I’m not terribly concerned about this but the possibility of adding Blanton is a terrifying one.

  6. On the .362 BABIP: BABIP regression is not some platonic truth, and bad pitchers will sustain higher BABIPs. Same with the exteme HR/FB rate. So it’s wholly possible that Blanton is just cooked.

    • This, indeed, is true. But it makes it more plausible that AA would want to see for himself, I suppose.

    • Highly doubtful given his 57% GB rate from last season. High GB% pitchers tend to have LOWER then normally regressed BABIP rates. Guys like Hudson etc. His new sinker looks like a legitimate weapon.

    • The point is he hasn’t sustained a high BABIP or a high HR/FB rate over his career. In fact as recently as 5 years ago, he had an average BABIP 0.299 and a low HR/FB rate (6.5%). Where he was worth 5.6 WAR

      • pretty much, but it should lower even more if the sinker is for real. .299 BABIP for his career is about average for MLB and his 9.6 HR/FB rate is only slightly above average (if you factor in Oakland)

      • “as recently”?

        • Are you questioning the grammar or the fact that 5 years can be classified as recent? The fact is he was worth over 5 WAR in the not so distant past. Better?

  7. I should just add that bbFIP is basically the predicted ERA based on batted ball types (with strike out and uBB and HBP of course).

  8. Could be that Philly is looking to dump Blanton to clear some money for a run at resigning Oswalt. This might just be part of a bigger deal, maybe a three-way trade or something.

  9. Pass. If Cecil for instance is a bust, there are plenty of other options that are ready to go that won’t cost players and $8.5 million. Need to find out one way or another if McGuire, Jenkins and Hutchinson are going to be able to perform at the major league level. Drabek also needs another kick at the can eventually.

    • I like that but there’s also the point that you dont want to throw kids in too early, lest they get too beat up and it takes a boatload of shrinks to get them back.

  10. I like how you’re willing to backpeddle.
    You first post was a little smug.

    Still, great source for info here. Love the site and the new digs.

    I’d prefer Drabek or showcase another of the kids…. Blanton for essentially free would be fine if thats available.

  11. Fuck off Stoten you Sellout. Go fuck yourself.

  12. It depends on Blanton’s cost. I’d be fine with free, I wouldn’t be fine if it took a good prospect.

    It also depends on what their thoughts are on our current rotation. I’m perfectly happy going into the season with Romero, Morrow, Alvarez, Cecil, and McGowan. But if they know something we don’t and they think Cecil will be the next Jo-Jo Reyes, then sure, dump him and grab Blanton for a season or two.

  13. I’d have no problem with the Blue Jays acquiring Joe Blanton.

    Assuming he’s attached to any of Hamels, Lee or Halladay. We know the Phillies like D’arnaud…

    The problem, of course, is that the Phillies are all in so none of that shit will happen. Maybe one of Thames/Snider for Dom Brown & Blanton’s salary?

  14. The Philadelphia Phillies have a payroll of 166 million. with the competitive balance tax (yes that’s what it really called people) starting @ 178 million. They don’t have much flexibility if a medium/big fish was available. if i recall correctly that was a factor in the red sox pretty much giving marco scutoro away.

    one of the assets the jays posses is the ability to take on money (hello mark teahen). i’m guessing that not too many team in mlb are in a position to take on money. most budgets are probably set, and with a stiffer competitive balance tax even teams like nny and boston are showing reluctance to take money on.

    Ultimately this is a big stick that the jays can carry, and i’m pretty sure AA is swinging it. Also, AA has done pretty well in taking advantage of trades connected to the Phillies as they desperately try to take advantage of their eve shrinking and aging competitive window.

    book it!

    • p.s. good on Morosi for perhaps finding the chink in the “ninja” armour of AA (yes i do realize that that would make him a samurai instead, but considering that the teenaged mutant ninja turtles technically had their shells for armour i believe that a certain poetic license can be granted).

      AA is so obsessive about his decisions (especially big ones, remember him moaning about deciding on Farrell and JBau), and compound that with the “scouts” blood in his veins. the odds of getting that elusive “scoop” on what he will do next could be if you see him there.

      but what do know? or do i?

  15. I bet you there are Philly fans out there thinking Blanton for d’Arnaud.

  16. Press Conference tomorrow at 11am!

  17. Well just move Cecil to the bullpen, he destroys LHP, but is tossing batting practice vs RHP last year

  18. Cecil would be a really good pitcher in the NL West.

  19. Obligatory David Cooper trade comment.

  20. If we acquire Blanton then Philly better be eating $6 million of the $8.5. $3 million + for Blanton’s services when you don’t have to is ridiculous.

  21. Its encouraging that AA realizes the rotation need some work

  22. Someone out there mentioned the kids ie Drabek, Jenkins, McGuire etc. I sense that AA could be looking for a guy who can give him innings without sacrificing the kids. Blanton has one year left on his contract with the Phils and is an FA next year. That, and the fact that McGowan wont be going a full year, Cecil is having velo problems, Litsch is gone for awhile, AA’s not convinced Laffey can fill in, leads me to think theres something there.
    Everything depends on the price though. Personally I wouldnt touch the guy, let alone trade for him AND his salary , and hopefully its just due diligence. Moreover, giving a guy like this a spot on the 40 man roster when Drabek could be getting valuable experience…. Oh well maybe it’s all part of a much bigger deal that brings the Doc back…!

  23. Maybe Thames is better trade bait than Cooper?

    Blockbuster with Aaron Cibia involved, bring up Travis straight away?

  24. Pat Gillick was pretty smug in his assessment of how the jays are doing. (last years comments) Lets not do him any favors. I agree that any deal for Blanton should include the Phillies faying a substantial amount of his salary. How much did the jays have to kick in, in the haladay trade… 25 mil?

  25. Maybe Blanton is just one piece. Jays take Blanton and his salary and a good prospect, Phils get a lower prospect and a bullpen arm?

    Who knows.

  26. They’re paying a fat, shitty, unnecessary reliever 4.5M but 8.5 for a solid starter (and yeah, he’s solid, if injury prone. Probably should have looked that up before the quick dismissal) is insane? Please. I’d be pretty happy about having Blanton on board considering the instability of the rest of the rotation. I mean, you’re delusional if you don’t think there are gonna be huge bumps in the road concerning Alvarez’s third pitch, McGowan’s health, Cecil’s general shitball-iness, and Drabek’s inconsistency.

  27. [...] For most guys losing that much in velocity is detrimental and to a guy like Cecil is could be career ending, that is assuming its permanent, which it’s likely not. Nonetheless the drop in fastball velocity is discouraging for both us fans and maybe even for Farrell too as Stoeten inferences at Drunk Jays Fans. [...]

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