The Philadelphia Phillies fire sale ended at 4 p.m. Tuesday with outfielders Shane Victorino and Hunter Pence as the only casualties. However, starting pitcher and 2008 World Series champion Joe Blanton could still be shown the door next month.
“Blanton…can still be traded next month,” Phillies beat writer Todd Zolecki reminded fans via Twitter on Tuesday afternoon. “Would have to clear waivers, but if $ is an issue he could.”
While July 31 was Major League Baseball’s non-waiver trade deadline, there is a waiver trade deadline in place on Aug. 31. That means players can still be traded over the next month; the only difference is that they would have to pass through waivers before a deal is worked out. For more on the differences between the two deadlines and how the waiver process works, check out this helpful explanation from Fox Sports: MLB Transaction Rules for Dummies.
The point is that Blanton could still be on the move, and Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. only added fuel to the Blanton rumor fire a few hours after the deadline passed.
“We’re not finished doing business, I don’t think,” Ruben Amaro told Phillies broadcaster Chris Wheeler during Tuesday night’s Phillies game against the division-leading Washington Nationals.
Blanton – often overshadowed by superstar pitchers Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, and Cole Hamels in Philadelphia – has quietly put up some solid numbers in 2012, making him an attractive addition to an MLB team in the playoff hunt. The Baltimore Orioles were in pursuit of Blanton as Tuesday’s deadline approached, but a deal was never ironed out before the deadline.
Blanton has shown before how he can provide a nice boost to a club with postseason aspirations. After being acquired by the Phillies in 2008, Blanton put together a string of quality starts and pitched very well in the playoffs, too. He even chipped in on the offensive side of things, crushing a home run while earning the win in Game 4 of the World Series.
Of course, Blanton’s suitors won’t be looking for any offense from him, as he doesn’t exactly have the best strategy for hitting.
“I just close my eyes and swing hard in case I make contact,” Blanton said after his World Series home run.
Instead, look for Blanton to serve as a solid fourth or fifth starter, hopefully limiting the number of home runs in a game rather than adding to them.