UPDATE: Blanton to the Red Sox may not be happening

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UPDATE: Now ESPN Boston and the Boston Globe are hearing that a Joe Blanton deal is not close and may not, in fact, happen.

For the next 24 hours, I think baseball is going to be like the people of Los Angeles in the movie “1941.”  Panicking. Seeing things behind every corner. Americans fighting Americans.  And if there’s one thing I can’t stand seeing, it’s Americans fighting Americans.

Or does no one besides me remember that flick?

8:47 AM: Joe Blanton probably feels a bit unwanted right now. That may change soon as multiple sources are reporting that the Red Sox and Phillies are deep in discussions to get Blanton.

This move is probably essential for the Phillies, in that they’ll certainly want to unload some of the $17 million Blanton is still owed. Far too much for a [gulp] number five starter.

I joked last night that the Red Sox should snag Blanton simply to make it more likely that the Yankees wouldn’t get Lee, and that seems to actually be happening.  I worry about Blanton’s performance in the AL East — he allows way too many base runners to hold his own against much, much stronger competition — but the Sox have had Dice-K for several years now and they have somehow survived.  Having both Blanton and Dice-K is gonna make them really, really hard to watch, however.

How about this: the Yankees need pitching! The Sox should make a very public offer of Dice-K to New York.  It would never ever happen, but the screw-you value of such a move — to both the Yankees and Dice-K — would be unrivaled in baseball history.

Nathan Eovaldi to make 2018 debut for Rays soon

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Rays manager Kevin Cash said that pitcher Nathan Eovaldi will join the starting rotation on Monday or Tuesday to face the Athletics, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports. Eovaldi’s rehab outing with Triple-A Durham went well, even though he gave up eight runs in four innings.

Eovaldi, 28, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2016 after undergoing Tommy John surgery. He had arthroscopic surgery in March to remove loose bodies in his elbow. It’s been a long road back. Knowing Eovaldi needed to recover from surgery, the Rays signed him to a one-year, $2 million contract in 2017 that included a $2 million club option for 2018 that they exercised last November.

When Eovaldi last pitched, he ranked among baseball’s hardest throwers, particularly among starters. He averaged 97.1 MPH on his fastball in 2016. Among starters who racked up at least 100 innings that season, only the Mets’ Noah Syndergaard had a higher average velocity (97.9 MPH). It remains to be seen if he still has that velocity after undergoing two procedures on his elbow.

The Rays will be glad to have Eovaldi back. The club has sustained injuries to Jake Faria, Yonny Chirinos, and Jose De Leon.