Phillies trade Joe Blanton to Dodgers for player to be named

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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.

Mets invite Tim Tebow to spring training

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Tim Tebow isn’t letting go of his major league dreams just yet. The former NFL quarterback is slated to appear with the Mets during spring training this year, extending what initially looked like an ill-fated career choice for at least one more season. Per the club’s official announcement on Friday, he’ll join a group of spring training invitees that includes top-30 prospects like Peter Alonso, P.J. Conlon, Patrick Mazeika and David Thompson.

Tebow, 30, hasn’t taken to professional baseball as gracefully as expected. He batted a cumulative .226/.309/.347 with eight home runs and a .656 OPS in 486 plate appearances for Single-A Columbia and High-A St. Lucie in 2017. While that wasn’t enough to compel the Mets to give the aging outfielder a big league tryout, there’s no denying that Tebow brought substantial benefit to their minor league affiliates — in the form of increased attendance figures and ticket sales, that is.

Even after the Mets were booted from the NL East race last September, they resisted the idea of promoting Tebow for a late-season attendance boost of their own. That’s not to say they’re planning on taking the same approach in 2018; Tebow will undoubtedly get his cup of coffee in the majors at some point, but for now, a Grapefruit League tryout is likely as close as he’ll ever get to playing with the team’s big league roster on an everyday basis.