The Philadelphia Phillies and Baltimore Orioles engaged in "deep discussions" about a trade involving starting pitcher Joe Blanton, The Baltimore Sun's Dan Connolly reported late Monday. But the discussions are being held up by whether or not the Orioles would absorb the $3 million still owed to Blanton for the rest of the season. From Connolly's report:
The Orioles likely could acquire the 31-year-old Blanton for a minor leaguer, but the Phillies also want to shed what remains on Blanton's $8.5 million contract — which is approximately $3 million, according to an industry source.
And the Orioles appear hesitant to spend that amount of money for a pitcher who is more of an innings eater than a dominant force in the rotation, the source said. The big-money Phillies, who surprisingly are in last in the National League East, are looking for salary relief, especially after inking lefty Cole Hamels to a huge extension recently.
Blanton is 8-9 with a 4.59 ERA this season for the Phillies. He has 115 strikeouts to just 18 walks and would serve as a dependable innings-eater. He has pitched an average of almost 6 2/3 innings in his 20 starts.
Connolly reported that the Orioles are only one of five teams that have inquired about Blanton's availability.