Joe Blanton #56 of the Philadelphia Phillies delivers a pitch against the Atlanta Braves during a MLB baseball game at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
Trade dealine? What trade deadline?
Friday, three days after Major League Baseball's non-waivers trade deadline, the Philadelphia Phillies traded right-handed starting pitcher Joe Blanton to the Los Angeles Dodgers for a player to be named later. This came immediately on the heels of a deal that sent Oakland catcher Kurt Suzuki to the Nationals.
The Dodgers had been rumored as serious suitors for Chicago Cubs ace Ryan Dempster, who ultimately was instead traded to the Texas Rangers. This left the Dodgers still looking to add a veteran starting pitcher, and Blanton certainly qualifies.
Blanton missed most of 2011, but otherwise he's always been a workhorse, average nearly 200 innings over the previous six seasons. This year he's been in the Phillies' rotation since Day 1. The bad news is that he's got a 4.59 ERA, slightly worse than his career mark. More bad news: he's given up 22 home runs, most in the National League
The good news is that his 6.4 strikeout-to-walk ratio is actually the best in the National League.
Blanton's arrival will push rookie Stephen Fife out of the rotation; Fife's got a 2.16 ERA in three starts, but also has more walks than strikeouts and can't be considered reliable as the Dodgers are locked in a three-way struggle for National League West supremacy.