In addition to the numerous other outgrowths of the Cliff Lee signing, the Phillies are looking to dump their current fifth starter, Joe Blanton. Would the Chicago Cubs be interested in picking up the scraps?
The Phillies are shopping Joe Blanton, who is owed $17 million over the next two years. He has been the odd man out in Philadelphia but could play a role in the Cubs’ rotation. Barring a Zambrano trade, the Cubs would have to be creative to find a way to sign him, however. Chicago Breaking Sports.
Ignoring that last bit about “sign[ing] him” (um, what? it’s a trade, dude), Blanton probably could fit within the Cubs’ budget, but only if the Phillies were so motivated to move him that they would eat a decent chunk of his contract – or would take a bad contract in return.
As for whether the Cubs should actually want Blanton, it’s debatable. The Cubs had a brief dalliance with Blanton a couple years ago before he ultimately came to Philadelphia, but have to count themselves lucky that they didn’t land the righty. He’s been average since leaving the spacious confines of Oakland, or even slightly below average. He was, excuse the inartful description, pretty crappy last year – 4.82 ERA in 175.2 innings, with a 1.417 WHIP. He exceeded his career averages in hits/9 and HR/9, which mostly explains the leap in ERA and WHIP (his walks were slightly down, and strikeouts better than his career average – that tells me he was around the plate a lot, but getting hit a lot, too).