Analyzing the Joe Blanton trade, and Mike Hampton tweaks groin again

Oakland gets:

2B/IF Adrian Cardenas
OF Matt Spencer
RP Josh Outman

Philly gets

SP Joe Blanton

A couple days ago, Oakland traded away their 5th starter Joe Blanton away to Philadelphia prospects 2B Adrian Cardenas, RP Josh Outman, and a throw in OF Matt Spencer.

In a couple years, if Joe Blanton stinks up the place in Philadelphia, this could be one of these trades that keeps us asking “why?” like Larry Andersen for Jeff Bagwell, among others. And there is very real chance that this could happen, because Joe Blanton is more of a flyball, and he could get lit up in that small park they have in Philadelphia. His home/road ERA splits are 4.63/5.73, and Oakland is a pitchers park as well. This could be a very bad trade for Philadelphia. But it could also be a good one, because Oakland’s defense hasn’t exactly been spectacular this year, and defensive ERA numbers suggest that the defense behind Blanton could be the problem, and with Utley, Rollins and others behind Blanton, his ERA might actually go down slightly. So it really depends on how Blanton will do, and the numbers are so variable, because some numbers predict he will do bad, and some predict he will be decent with the Phillies, which would justify this trade. The offense behind Blanton does not suggest much, for example, Eric Milton’s 2005 Reds season where he had the great offense behind him, but was completely awful, and we all know how good the Phillies offense is this year.

Also, let’s look who the Phillies gave up for Blanton. Although there are not that many players that the Phillies could have traded for, they gave up a can’t-miss prospect in Adrian Cardenas, hitting .310/.375/.447 in High-A, which also means current Oakland 2B Mark Ellis will be gone. Cardenas was going to be blocked by Chase Utley no matter what. They also gave up a pitcher with good HR/9 rates in Josh Outman, although he got moved to the bullpen after a mediocre 2007 where his HR/9 went up while starting, and the Phillies 2007 3rd Round draft pick Matt Spencer, who has not really done much in the pro level and is hitting .249 this year in High-A ball. Cardenas is the real gem here, and although he’s only in A-Ball and is as old as we are, he has hit well in every level thus far. He was the Gatorade state High School Player of the year in Florida in 2006, and he was teammates with Chris Marrero, who is in the Washington Nationals system right now, and was the the 15th overall pick in 2006. All Cardenas has done is hit (I think Cardenas will be in the Majors in 2-3 years, not 3-4 years like some are saying), and if he turns into something great, and if Outman turns into a decent pitcher (He needed a change in scenery after the Phillies moved him to the bullpen), then we all know who got the better end of the trade. Again, this could really be one of those trades where bored sportswriters could list as “one of the worst trades in the past 20 years,” but again, if Blanton turns into something slightly useful and the Phillies make the playoffs instead of running Adam Eaton out there every 5th day, it could also be a decent trade that works out for the Phillies. Really, it can go either way. I still think the Phillies may have given up too much.

Mike Hampton injury watch: Mike Hampton injured again

Apparently Mike Hampton tweaked his groin again during a rehab start. When will this end? Certainly one of the worst contracts in history. His arm felt fine though, apparently. It just sucks for Hampton, whose body keeps taking his baseball abilities as a league-average starter away from him, and ultimately, you have to feel bad for him. It’s still funny at his expense, with the frequency of his injuries.

Explore posts in the same categories: Atlanta Braves, Oakland Athletics, Philadelphia Phillies

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