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Phillies trade Joe Blanton to Dodgers for player to be named


Philadelphia’s sell-off continues, as the Phillies have traded Joe Blanton to the Dodgers for a player to be named later or cash after the right-hander was claimed off revocable waivers by Los Angeles.

Leading up to Tuesday’s non-waiver trade deadline Blanton was said to be on the verge of being traded to the Orioles, but the remaining $3 million or so the impending free agent is owed this season reportedly held that deal up.

In claiming Blanton off waivers the Dodgers committed to potentially taking on his entire contract had the Phillies simply said, “OK, you can have him.” Instead the two sides worked out a swap, although it’s tough to offer much analysis without knowing the identity–or at least general quality level–of the player to be named later.

Blanton has had a tough time keeping the ball in the ballpark, serving up an NL-high 22 homers on the way to a 4.59 ERA, but has generally been a solid fourth or fifth starter and actually has the league’s best strikeout-to-walk ratio this season at 115-to-18 in 133 innings.

Blanton was scheduled to start for the Phillies tonight against Diamondbacks, but now Kyle Kendrick will take his place.

Diamondbacks fire pitching coach Mike Harkey

Oliver Perez, Mike Harkey
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Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports that the Diamondbacks have fired pitching coach Mike Harkey following a season in which the staff ranked ninth among NL teams in runs allowed.

That actually represents a big improvement from last season, when the Diamondbacks allowed the second-most runs in the league in Harkey’s first year as pitching coach, but the Tony La Russa-led front office has decided to make a change.

Prior to joining the Diamondbacks two offseasons ago Harkey served as the Yankees’ bullpen coach from 2008-2013. He pitched eight seasons in the majors.

Nats expected to consider Cal Ripken for the manager job

Cal Ripken Jr

FOX Sports’ Jon Morosi reports that the Nationals are expected to consider Cal Ripken Jr. for their managerial vacancy. Ripken, of course, was recently reported to have been considered by the club the last time the job was open.

This could be a courtesy. And if you’re a Nats fan, you have to hope it is, right? Because the single biggest argument in favor of Matt Williams when he was hired was that he was a top player in his day, wasn’t too far removed from his playing career and could be a good clubhouse guy who understood what made major leaguers tick. His lack of experience was brushed off. All of which would be the same thing for Ripken, except he doesn’t even have the coaching experience Williams had and is even farther removed from his playing days.

I know he’s famous and everything, but if the Nationals’ 2015 season is evidence of anything, perhaps it should be evidence that sometimes it’s useful to have a manager who has actually, you know, made a pitching change once in his professional life.