According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, the Philadelphia Phillies tried to trade Joe Blanton to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim for Bobby Abreu. Their plan then was to take Abreu and send him to the New York Yankees for A.J. Burnett.
The deal never panned out, and the Phillies still have Blanton. Burnett was shipped to Pittsburgh, where the Yankees will still pay $20 million of the $33 million he is owed for the next two seasons, even though the Phillies tried to acquire Burnett.
Blanton has been the object of trade talks for each of the last two seasons, and the Phillies are doing all they can to trade him as he enters the final year of his contract. Blanton is set to make $8.5 million in 2012, but he logged just 41 innings in ’11 because of an elbow injury.
If the Phillies had pulled off the trade, Blanton would have been replaced in the rotation by Roy Oswalt, who is still currently unsigned. The Phillies also like Kyle Kendrick enough that they gave him a two-year, $7.5 million extension as a long reliever and spot starter.
Olney reports that the Phillies are worried they can’t pay Hamels long-term and that they were hoping Burnett would provide security at least for two more years.
Abreu is on the Angels because his option for the ’12 season vested when he reached 550 plate appearances in 2011, but the Yankees are in need of a DH and could show interest in a reunion with Abreu.