When we checked in with Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. last week, he wasn’t in a hurry to deal Joe Blanton. Now? According to what he told Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com today, it sounds like he isn’t willing to deal him at all.
“I don’t feel comfortable doing it,” Amaro told FOXSports.com. “He’s going to pitch for the Phillies, probably for the entire season.”
Doesn’t feel comfortable? If having Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels in his starting rotation doesn’t have him sleeping pretty well at night, I’m not sure anything will.
In all seriousness, this is likely a matter of how much money the Phillies are willing to absorb in a potential trade. Blanton is owed $8.5 million over each of the next two seasons and one rival executive told Rosenthal that there was “not a chance” his team would make a deal unless the Phillies were willing to cover a significant part of his salary.
For now, it sounds like Amaro is satisfied with having a pretty good fifth starter in Blanton, but don’t forget, as Craig has said many times before, this guy is a ninja. Can’t put anything past him.
Free agent right-hander Chris Tillman is narrowing his pool of potential suitors, per Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports. Returning to the Orioles is one option, of course, but Heyman also mentions another two undisclosed teams who are still in the running. An earlier report from Eduardo Encina of the Baltimore Sun suggests that as many as four teams may be in the mix; either way, a final decision is expected by Monday.
Tillman, 29, has spent the entirety of his major league career in Baltimore. After posting career-high numbers in 2016, his progress was derailed during an injury-plagued 2017 campaign, during which he missed nearly six weeks on the disabled list with recurring right shoulder inflammation. He finished the season with a bloated 7.84 ERA, 2.3 BB/9 and 4.9 SO/9 over 93 innings.
While the mystery teams have yet to reveal themselves, the Blue Jays, Twins and Tigers have all expressed interest in the veteran right-hander this offseason. Both the Blue Jays and Twins have made big moves to bolster their rotations over the last few days, with the additions of Jaime Garcia and Jake Odorizzi, respectively. That doesn’t mean that Tillman is out of reach, however — if his price is right, he could provide some much-needed depth for pitching staffs that finished 15th and 22nd in the league last year.