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.
Confirming a report from Tuesday, the Diamondbacks officially signed right-hander Fernando Rodney to a one-year, $2.75 million contract on Friday. The 39-year-old stands to receive up to $4 million in incentives, per Jack MacGruder of FanRag Sports, with $250,000 kicking in when the veteran reaches 40, 50 and 60 appearances and $500,000 if he reaches 70.
Rodney came three games shy of the 70-appearance mark in 2016 during back-to-back stints with the Padres and Marlins. He put up a cumulative 3.44 ERA on the year, which effectively disguised the extreme split during his performances in San Diego and Miami. The Diamondbacks aren’t anywhere close to contending in 2017, but Rodney should stabilize the back end of their bullpen while providing Arizona GM Mike Hazen with a potential trade chip during next year’s deadline.
Hazen issued a statement following the signing:
With Fernando, we’re getting an established Major League closer and a veteran presence in the bullpen. It is helpful to have someone with his experience on the back end to slow the game down and get the final three outs.
The Cardinals have officially signed outfielder Dexter Fowler to a five-year, $82.5 million contract. Fowler will also get a full no-trade clause.
The Cardinals gave Fowler a bigger deal than many speculated he’d get, as some reports predicted he’d get something in the $52-72 million range. His skills, however — he’s a fantastic leadoff hitter who plays a premium defensive position — definitely earned him some major dough. Fowler hit .276/.393/.447 with 13 homers, 48 RBI and 13 steals over 125 games in 2016 for the World Series champion Cubs.
For the Cardinals, this will allow Matt Carpenter to move down to the middle of the batting order and will shift Randal Grichuk to left field. It also takes a prime piece from the Cardinals’ biggest rival. For their part, earlier this offseason the Cubs signed former Cardinal center fielder Jon Jay. So that’s fun.