The Dodgers acquired Joe Blanton from the Phillies late this afternoon in exchange for a player to be named later or cash considerations. While it’s certainly not the flashiest of moves, the acquisition makes even more sense now that Eric Stephen of True Blue L.A. is reporting that Ted Lilly was scratched from a rehab appearance with High-A Rancho Cucamonga tonight due to a setback with his shoulder.
Lilly went 5-1 with a 3.14 ERA and 31/19 K/BB ratio over his first eight starts this season prior to being placed on the disabled list on May 24 due to left shoulder inflammation. The veteran southpaw tossed two scoreless innings in his first rehab appearance on Sunday, but the shoulder has apparently cropped up again this week. The hope is that he’ll be able to throw a bullpen session at some point in the next few days, but he’s obviously not anywhere close to coming off the disabled list.
As of now, the Dodgers will go with Clayton Kershaw, Chad Billingsley, Chris Capuano, Aaron Harang and Blanton in their rotation. They were reportedly awarded claiming rights today on left-hander Cliff Lee and have three days to complete a trade with the Phillies, but a deal is considered unlikely.
Last month, free agent right-hander Bartolo Colon told reporters that he’d be open to taking a minor league deal in 2018, but only if he was guaranteed a return to the Mets’ system. The 44-year-old starter is nearing the end of a 20-year career, and it makes sense that he’d want to have one last hurrah in the city where he had some of his most productive years.
Now, Twins starter Ervin Santana tells Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press, it looks like the Mets might also be open to a reunion. It’s doubtful that Colon has all that much left in the tank, especially following a combined 7-14 record and 6.48 ERA for the Braves and Twins last year, but he’s not necessarily looking to reproduce the 15+ win, sub-4.00 ERA totals of years past.
Instead, Santana says, Colon is seeking the opportunity to win just six more games. He’ll enter the 2018 season five wins shy of the all-time record for a Latin American-born player, and is hoping to claim that title for himself before he enters retirement in 2019. Former Orioles and Expos hurler Dennis Martinez currently holds the record after clinching his 245th win back in 1998. While it took Colon a full season of starts to come up with even seven wins in 2017, he’s only one year removed from a 15-win campaign in 2016. Provided that the Mets are willing to gamble on him again, the milestone may not be that far out of reach.