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— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Friday, July 18, 2008

Phillies - Acquired Blanton

Philadelphia Phillies - Acquired P Joe Blanton from the Oakland A’s for 2B Adrian Cardenas, P Josh Outman, and OF Matt Spencer

The A’s rebound quite a bit from the Harden/Gaudin trade with this one, with Blanton being the weakest, in my opinion, of the departed starters over the last year, with the except of Loaiza.  They might have gotten a better package for Blanton, though this is more than I expected, if they had traded him last winter, when you could glance at the stats and be excused for thinking he was some perfect #2 guy rather than a league-averagish starter with lots of ball in play, defense, and foul ground.

Given the ERA hovering near 5, I’m surprised the A’s got this much for Blanton.  Adrian Cardenas is the prize of this trade and far more likely to be the long-term future at 2B than Eric Patterson is, though he’s not as close to the majors.  Cardenas is the kind of prospect the A’s Latin-American scouting hasn’t come up with in recent years, though Beane has been insistent in recent months that the organization is working at correcting that.  Outman’s got a solid B+ fastball and I’m a little disappointed that the Phillies changed his delivery before I got to see the interesting, supposedly biomechanics-informed, version that his dad developed.  I don’t think there’s a lot of star potential there, but the A’s have gotten quite a bit out of less-talented pitchers and I wouldn’t be surprised if Outman’s better than Blanton in a year or so.  Spencer’s purely a throw-in, picked in the third-round last year by the Phillies, showing very little power for a solidly built guy.

Blanton gives the Phillies a mediocre innings-eater who should at the least prove less flaky than Brett Myers, though the organization shoulders a lot of blame with Myers.  The Phillies really needed a better starter than Blanton, though I don’t know if they really had enough to fetch one.  Blanton doesn’t replace Carlos Ruiz (Coste’s more a catcher in the Shawn W00t3n mode) and doesn’t cause Geoff Jenkins to retire, but he does help the team.  I think ZiPS is a little too high on Blanton, but it’s possible if he can keep the ball down more - the Phils have a very good infield defense and a lot fewer flies will die prematurely at CBP.

2008 ZiPS Projection - Joe Blanton
————————————————————————————————
          W   L   G GS   IP   H   ER HR BB SO   ERA
————————————————————————————————
Year-to-Date   5 12 20 20 127.0 145   70 12 35 62 4.96
Rest-of-Yr?  6   5 14 14   89.0   96   43   9 22 55 4.35
————————————————————————————————
Total       11 17 34 34 216.0 241 113 21 57 117 4.71
————————————————————————————————
2009?      15 12 33 33 213.0 231 102 20 51 137 4.31  
————————————————————————————————
Top Comps:  Rick Wise, Frank Lary

 

Dan Szymborski Posted: July 18, 2008 at 03:36 AM | 21 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. philly Posted: July 18, 2008 at 04:28 AM (#2863444)
Cardenas is the kind of prospect the A's Latin-American scouting hasn't come up with in recent years, though Beane has been insistent in recent months that the organization is working at correcting that.


Cardenas was a supplemental 1st rd pick out of a Florida HS in 2006.
   2. billyshears Posted: July 18, 2008 at 04:34 AM (#2863449)
It's really difficult to find high school second basemen in Latin America.
   3. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: July 18, 2008 at 04:39 AM (#2863452)
As a Met fan, I'll be happy if this is the biggest move the Phillies make to improve their rotation. Blanton is a solid pitcher who eats innings up but I was afraid that the Phils were going to acquire Burnett or Bedard, someone with more upside. Perhaps that is still possible.
   4. JoeHova Posted: July 18, 2008 at 04:44 AM (#2863455)
Maybe Dan just mean that the A's Latin American scouting department was supposed to signing guys in the mold of Cardenas but they haven't been.

Anyway, do the A's now have the 2 best 2nd base prospects in baseball with Cardenas and Weeks? Or at least 2 of the few best? Ellis, Patterson, Cardenas, and Weeks seems like pretty good depth at 2nd.
   5. Dan Szymborski Posted: July 18, 2008 at 05:03 AM (#2863465)
Maybe Dan just mean that the A's Latin American scouting department was supposed to signing guys in the mold of Cardenas but they haven't been.

No, I was just too reliant on memory.
   6. TomH Posted: July 18, 2008 at 11:42 AM (#2863511)
only 9 projected HR in 89 IPs? Seems low.
   7. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: July 18, 2008 at 12:53 PM (#2863531)
Rotoworld seems to think Spencer is a candidate for a conversion to pitcher. Are they just pulling that out of their arse?
   8. Danny Posted: July 18, 2008 at 01:45 PM (#2863564)
They might have gotten a better package for Blanton, though this is more than I expected, if they had traded him last winter, when you could glance at the stats and be excused for thinking he was some perfect #2 guy rather than a league-averagish starter with lots of ball in play, defense, and foul ground.


How do lots of balls in play, defense, and foul ground allow a league averagish pitcher to post a better-than-average FIP (4.02 career)?
   9. DKDC Posted: July 18, 2008 at 02:04 PM (#2863581)
Doesn't FIP use non-park adjusted HR rates?
   10. Elston Gunn Posted: July 18, 2008 at 04:08 PM (#2863696)
I have no idea if he's any good, and a lot of people don't think he can stick at short, but I would have rather gotten Donald than another innings eater in Outman. But, all in all, yes I'm much happier with this deal than the Harden. I really wanted Felix Pie.
   11. Elston Gunn Posted: July 18, 2008 at 04:13 PM (#2863701)
On reflection, it appears Donald is a WAAY better prospect than Outman, so of course, just remember I'm an idiot.
   12. Z.V. Sanders Posted: July 19, 2008 at 04:11 PM (#2864781)
When you can get 3 prospects for a fat pitcher with a 5+ ERA, you should never complain.
   13. Keith Law Posted: July 19, 2008 at 04:19 PM (#2864783)
Spencer was a two-way guy in high school and threw a few innings for UNC his freshman year.
   14. MM1f Posted: July 19, 2008 at 04:44 PM (#2864808)
7,
As Law said he did pitch in college (not just his freshman year, FWIW). Maybe as an amateur the A's scouting dept liked him on the mound a little better and picked him up with the thought of conversion but I don't know.
On the mound or as a position player you are going to be dealing with some of the same problems with Spencer. Hes got talent but can't really put it to use.
Pitching-wise he is a 6-4, 230 LHP with a low-90s fastball (always interesting, scouting-wise) but doesn't know how to pitch, which is understandable for a college two-way guy who has focused on hitting.
As a player he can draw walks, hit really long homers and is a good athlete for his size but he can't turn those skills into being a good defensive LF/RF/1b or into being a good hitter. He takes too big a cut sometimes and strikeouts are certainly part of the problem.

There is some Ryan Klesko in him, if he can tap into it but who knows. Hes a project.

Spencer's purely a throw-in, picked in the third-round last year by the Phillies, showing very little power for a solidly built guy.

I actually don't think Spencer's power output looks like a problem right now. The numbers are mediocre but it is the FSL and it looks like Clearwater, in particular, is hell to homerun hitters. The only guy at Clearwater with a isoSLG of over .200 is Clay Harris, a 25 year old in his third try at the FSL. In past years Clearwaters rosters have featured very few HRs, and I don't think that is a function of the talent sent there as some of the prospects sent there are college vets whose best tool is their power (Slayden, Costanzo). The highs in HRs and 2Bs were 14 and 27 in Clearwater last year and 05 and 06 saw just three hitters each year get 10+ homers.

It is true that he has more power than he is tapping into but considering how inconsistent he is in general I'd say he is tapping into his power more than some other areas of his potential.
   15. The Keith Law Blog Blah Blah (battlekow) Posted: July 20, 2008 at 08:41 AM (#2865387)
How do lots of balls in play, defense, and foul ground allow a league averagish pitcher to post a better-than-average FIP (4.02 career)?

His career mark is suppressed by his 3.59 showing last year. The other three years ('05, '06, '08) he was 4.40, 4.21, 4.10.
   16. Swedish Chef Posted: July 20, 2008 at 08:55 AM (#2865389)

His career mark is suppressed by his 3.59 showing last year. The other three years ('05, '06, '08) he was 4.40, 4.21, 4.10.


Weird that people always remove the best years from consideration if it's another team's player, and always find pretexts for not considering the worst years if it's their own team's player (HET, NO FAIR, HE WAS INJURED THAT YEAR!!!!).
   17. Too Much Coffee Man Posted: July 21, 2008 at 03:24 AM (#2866106)
You know what, Swedish Chef, I'm convinced that GMs do something similar all the time and its one of the biggest mistakes many of them consistently make. For example, why would the Tigers have gone into this year counting on Dontrelle Willis? If a (typical) GM trades for a guy, they always believe they are getting the peak guy, not the last few years guy if he's on the downside. On the other hand, they are very quick to give deals to guys with great second halves, or a year that is out of whack with everything else they've done.
   18. Artie Ziff Posted: July 21, 2008 at 08:51 PM (#2866804)
To straight up steals for Oakland in a row from Chicago and Philadelphia. But it seems a bit early since The Athletics are still hanging around. Is Street next?
   19. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: July 23, 2008 at 01:36 PM (#2869314)
I saw this when I was in Italy but the DSL connection was too slow to compose a response. Do you trade your best position prospect for a league average starter with < a year and half of control? Seems like too much to give up to me.
   20. Danny Posted: July 23, 2008 at 01:39 PM (#2869316)
FWIW, Blanton's not a free agent until after 2010.
   21. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: July 23, 2008 at 03:57 PM (#2869429)
Thanks, Danny. It mitigates a little...

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