Phillies may wait to trade Joe Blanton until Carl Pavano signs

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Joe Blanton being on the trade block following Philadelphia’s signing of Cliff Lee is no surprise, but Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com speculates that the Phillies may wait to trade Blanton until after free agent Carl Pavano signs.

Rosenthal notes that Blanton and Pavano have had similar results and reports that the Nationals are among at least one team bidding for Pavano that would be interested in trading for Blanton if the free agent signs elsewhere.

According to Rosenthal the Phillies “will not demand much in return for Blanton” because “their goal is to clear as much of his salary as possible.” He’s owed $8.5 million in both 2011 and 2012, while Pavano is said to be seeking a two- or three-year deal for around $10 million per season.

Toss in the fact that Pavano is five years older than Blanton and teams would be smart to talk to the Phillies sooner than later.

Joe Girardi steps down as manager of USA Baseball

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Baseball is an Olympic sport once again and USA Baseball begins the road to qualifying for the 2020 Games in just a couple of weeks. They’ll be doing it with a new manager, though, as current team USA manager Joe Girardi has stepped down from the role in order to concentrate on his quest to return to managing in the big leagues.

Girardi has interviewed for the Cubs job already and is candidate for the openings with the Mets and the Phillies. His stepping down from the Olympic job suggests that he thinks he stands a pretty good chance of getting one of the seven current openings around the game. Or, at the very least, that he wishes to show clubs with openings that he’s serious.

Girardi will be replaced by Scott Brosius, who was poised to be Girardi’s bench coach with Team USA.

The team begins training in Arizona on October 21. It begins playing qualifier games in early November in Mexico. Eventually, the 2020 Olympic Games will feature a six-nation field.