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.
Oft-injured pitcher Josh Johnson is retiring from baseball, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick is reporting.
Johnson, 32, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2013. The right-hander underwent his third Tommy John surgery in September 2015 but wasn’t able to bounce back.
Johnson spent most of his career with the Marlins, but also pitched for the Blue Jays in the big leagues, as well as the Padres in the minors. He retires with a career 3.40 ERA, 915 strikeouts across 998 innings in the majors, and two All-Star nominations. Johnson led the National League with a 2.30 ERA in 2010, finishing fifth in NL Cy Young Award balloting. One wonders what he could have accomplished if he was able to stay healthy.
The Angels are nearing a multi-year deal with free agent third baseman Luis Valbuena, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports. It’s believed to be a two-year contract with a third-year option.
Valbuena, 31, hit .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances in 2016. He missed most of the second half with a hamstring injury, for which he underwent surgery in late August.
Valbuena has played a majority of his career at third base, but also has extensive experience at second base and has racked up innings at first base and shortstop as well. He won’t play every day for the Angels, as Yunel Escobar lays claim to third base and C.J. Cron first base, but he will give them flexibility and a left-handed bat off the bench.