Cheap Seats

Rumor Mill: Cardinals interested in Joe Blanton

According to rumors out of Philadelphia, the Cardinals are one of at least three teams that has talked to the Phillies about starting pitcher Joe Blanton.

The Orioles and the Blue Jays are said to be the others. Don't know why Blanton seems to only be gathering interest from bird-related teams...

Blanton is an unispiring 8-9 with a 4.59 ERA this season for Philadelphia and he's allowed 141 hits in 131 1/3 innings including a National League leading 22 home runs surrendered.

The Cardinals have seemed, at least up to the point this rumor surfaced, to be more interested in young, controllable talent. But Blanton, 31, is in the last year of his contract with the Phillies and will be a free agent at the end of the season.

Maybe the Cardinals think Philadelphia, eager to get out from under a $172 million payroll, will just give Blanton away to save what's left on his $8.5 million salary. But the Phillies seem more interested in jettisoning lefty Cliff Lee who has three years and $87.5 million (including a $12.5-million buyout for a fourth season) left on the ridiculous contract he received prior to the 2011 season.

Lee is 1-6 despite a 2.95 ERA and the talk is that he might be traded to the Rangers, a team he spurned during his free agent period to sign with the Phillies.

If the Cardinals did trade for Blanton, first, I hope the Redbirds don't give up much for him. And, second, I wish that the Birds would get the Phillies to add former Cardinals infielder Placido Polanco to the package.

Polanco usually plays third base for the Phillies. But he has logged a great deal of time at second in the past and would be a better fielder than Skip Schumaker while hitting better than Daniel Descalso and Tyler Greene.

In the last year of a 3-year deal. Polonco has a $5.5 million option next season with a $1 million buyout. 

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