Philadelphia Phillies and Los Angeles Dodgers starter Joe Blanton certainly had a down year in 2012, but that will not stop several teams from offering him a contract during the winter meetings. Will the Milwaukee Brewers be one of those teams if they are unable to acquire a starter they currently have their eyes on?
The Phillies traded Blanton to the Dodgers in early August as Philadelphia began cutting salary after their disappointing season. Blanton was not pitching well for the Phillies and since he is a free agent this year, the team did not see a point in keeping him around. In 20 starts with Philadelphia this season, he posted an 8-9 record with a 4.59 earned run average and 115 strikeouts in 133 1/3 innings.
The Dodgers wanted to get as much together as they could for a legitimate run at a postseason berth. They knew they needed to bolster their starting rotation to do so, which is why they traded for Blanton. Unfortunately, the 31-year-old did not pan out in Los Angeles as his 4.99 ERA in 57 2/3 innings is not exactly what the team had in mind.
Blanton is considered one of the more overpaid starters in all of baseball. He received a $10.5 million paycheck in 2012, despite the fact he has not posted an ERA under 4.50 in four years. However, he is known as a durable pitcher in which he has pitched at least 175 innings in seven of his eight seasons. The only exception was in 2011 when he missed a good chunk of the year with an injury.
The Brewers need someone who is capable of pitching deep into games and can last an entire season. Also, Blanton’s postseason experience is another attribute Milwaukee is looking for considering their starters did not handle the pressure of the playoffs well in 2011. Blanton is 2-0 with a 4.02 ERA in 10 career postseason games, including six starts.
The Brewers clearly have their eyes set on several different starters such as Ryan Dempster, Kyle Lohse, or Joe Saunders, but if they are unable to acquire any of these players, they will need a solid backup plan. Milwaukee cannot afford to go into the 2013 season without a veteran starter to pitch behind Yovani Gallardo in the rotation.
Michael is a MLB and NBA Featured Writer for Rant Sports, but covers topics for various teams in baseball, basketball, and football. Make sure to follow Michael on Twitter @MichaelTerrill and on Facebook.