Hope you brought your party hats. And nimble fingers for your refresh button.
Let’s recap quickly.
The Orioles and Phillies have been talking about a deal that would send right-handed starter Joe Blanton to the Orioles for a minor leaguer – and not one of major circumstance.
The Phillies, who need salary relief, also want the Orioles to pick up what’s left of Blanton’s salary: roughly $3 million.
And I don’t see that happening.
That’s a lot of money for a two-month rental who is viewed as a slight upgrade to the current patchwork rotation. And there’s a faction of the Orioles that doesn’t believe the 31-year-old Blanton is much of an upgrade at all, especially for the money.
Blanton definitely would provide some experience – he has pitched in 10 postseason games – and he consistently pitches into the sixth inning, which would be helpful for a team built on an outstanding bullpen, when rested.
But he also has served up 22 homers this season and would be switching from one home park where lots of homers are hit to another (especially in the summer). And he has not fared well against the American League East in his nine-season career, and much of the last two months will be against the East and several other postseason contenders (Rangers, A’s, Tigers, White Sox).
So the salary-eating thing could be a major sticking point. My guess is it drags toward the 4 p.m. deadline. It's far from a done deal. I say it’s 50-50 it gets done – but that is just my guess. It’s deadline day, don’t hold me to anything.
As I wrote yesterday, don’t worry about infield prospect Jonathan Schoop being included in this deal, as a Philly paper speculated. It definitely won’t get done if that’s the demand.
Besides a starting pitcher, the Orioles are also focusing on adding a corner infield/outfield bat and perhaps a lefty reliever.
Should be an interesting day.