The Phillies, in a deal that's been rumored for a couple of days, have traded 3 minor leaguers to the Oakland A's for SP Joe Blanton. The minor leaguers sent to Oakland are 2B Adrian Cardenas, RP Josh Outman, and OF Matt Spencer.
My initial gut feeling on this trade is that the Phillies overpaid for Blanton. Blanton is 5 - 12 with a 4.96 ERA. Before this season, he had records of 12 - 12, 16 - 12, and 14 - 10. He ERA last season was a full run lower than it is right now. Another interesting stat: He has thrown almost 600 innings in the last 3 years.
I can't help but wonder if the decline in his numbers is due to some sort of breaking down due to overuse. There have been no reports of injury, but he seems to have fallen off of a cliff, statistically.
Furthermore, both Cardenas and Outman have been highly thought of in terms of potential down the road. Even if the organization had no plans for these guys with the Phillies because of other players in their way (especially in the case of Cardenas), you wonder if these guys wouldn't have been better utilized as trade bait for a better talent. I mean, is Joe Blanton really the best we could do for Cardenas, a .300 hitter with speed at single A Clearwater, and Outman, a lefty reliever many believe is ready for the majors now?
There is no doubting that the Phillies needed some starting pitching help, but I really would have liked to have seen it come from within in the form of JA Happ or Carlos Carrasco.
Also: is there another shoe to drop from this trade? Will either of Adam Eaton or Brett Myers get packaged in another deal? Myers has been rumored to be unhappy now that he is no longer the closer, and won't be in the immediate future, with Brad Lidge singing a 3-year deal.
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