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What to do with Blanton? (Long read)


gotbeer

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The simple answer is release him.  But in baseball nothing is simple for the Angels.  

 

Here are some factors that I think have to be considered before the majority will get their wish.  

 

Blanton is owed $8.5 million, $7.5 million this season, and $1 million buyout for 2015.  From my estimated opening salary, the Angels sit at around $147.9 million right now.  More importantly, due to chatter that the Angels don't want to get in the competitive balance tax area, the Angels are at an estimated $155.9 million, with the tax kicking in at $189 million.  That leaves an average annual value of $33.1 million that we can spend.

 

The needs of the team are 2 starting pitchers and 2-3 relievers.  

 

Starter:

Weaver

CJ

Open

Open

Richards

 

Reliever:

Frieri

De La Rosa

Burnett

Jepsen (Open)

Open

Open

Williams

 

Now you have to look at, can Blanton fill a starting pitcher, or reliever roll?  As a starter, Blanton posted a 5.66 ERA/1.59 WHIP last season.  As a reliever, Blanton posted a 8.64 ERA/1.74 WHIP over 8 appearances.  

 

But can he get better?  His career average is a 4.51 ERA/1.36 WHIP.  So say you throw out last season, and that he can hit Career norms.  This will be the baseline of who can you get in the offseason to improve the club.  

 

The pursuit of a closer.  Say the Angels go and get a closer.  A good closer will cost about $10 million.  The Beard probably around $7 million.  That would leave $26.1 million - $23.1 million to spend on 2 starters and one-two relievers.  Vargas at a 4.02 ERA/1.39 WHIP will probably be asking $10-12 million.  So to fit under the budget, getting a good closer, would probably mean having Blanton as either a starter or one of the relievers.  

 

The pursuit of 2 starters in free agency.  You want to improve the team, so going off the 4.34 ERA/200 IP method I put in this thread (with caveats), you come up with:

 

So for just 2013

Bartolo Colon James Shields Ervin Santana A.J. Burnett Ubaldo Jimenez Hiroki Kuroda Ricky Nolasco Andy Pettitte Jon Lester Bronson Arroyo Scott Feldman Tim Lincecum

 

And for 2011-2013

James Shields Hiroki Kuroda Tim Hudson Ervin Santana Dan Haren A.J. Burnett Jon Lester Tim Lincecum Jason VargasBronson Arroyo Ricky Nolasco Joe Saunders

 

So assuming a good reliever will cost between $3-5 million (Burnett was $3.5 million for the first season, and he was one of the tops in FA relievers for the class) depending on if you need 2 or 3, that will put it  at $6-$10 million up to $9-$15 million.  So you would have $27-$23 million to $24-$18 million to spend.  So you can get 2 starting pitchers, and 2 relievers and effectively cut Blanton.  

 

Trades to improve the team right now.  Say you trade away some offense to help the team right now.  Problem is going to be this.  Pitching is at a premium right now.  You will have to pay premium to get a good pitcher.  Teams will not trade a good pitcher away if they have to pay any of their salary.  So if someone wants Cliff Lee, the Phillies will not pay a dime of what is owed Lee.  So your net is always going to get you closer to the Tax threshhold.  

 

So, a Bourjos will bigger hit to the tax, because Bourjos is estimated to only get $1.1 million in arbitration.  Trumbo would net the Angels a mid amount at $4.7 million.  And Kendrick and Aybar would be a $8.3 to a $8.7 million.  

 

So taking Lee as an example.  His Competitive Balance tax hit would be $24 million.  But with Bourjos the tax hit would be a net $22.9 million.  For Trumbo, it would be $19.3 million.  For Kendrick and Aybar it would be $15.7 to 15.3 million.  This would then leave from $10.2 million to $17.8 million left to spend on 2-3 relievers and 1 more starter.  This type of move would probably be countered with Blanton taking a starting spot.  

 

There are probably other trades.  But you have to balance it with tax considerations, along with benefit.  For instance, you could trade Trumbo for a reliever and solve one spot.  But overall, that would be the stupidest move you could make, because you can get a premier reliever in FA'cy for $5 million, you cannot get a power hitter in FA'cy for $5 million.  Or you could trade a position player for a 2015 FA.  And that's the Grienke risk.  

 

Trades to improve the team with prospects.  This one is pretty simple.  See the pursuit of 2 starters in free agency, and then add a weaker offense.  

 

It'll be interesting what moves the Angels make in the coming months.  Because what moves we make, and aren't able to make will have a big say on if Blanton is on the opening day roster.  

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`

He's a sunk cost. You let him go to camp, but don't plan on him helping and plan the offseason and plan accordingly.

If he seems like he can be useful as a starter or in the pen based on his spring training performance, you put him on the roster.  If not, you release him, either out of spring training or during the year.

 

Short Read

Edited by red321
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I wouldn't be surprised to see Dipoto trade Blanton to a NL team that needs a 5th starter while we eat about $3-5 million of his salary. Someone will look at his pre-2013 history and take a flyer on him to fill out their rotation.

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He's a sunk cost. You let him go to camp, if he seems like he can be useful as a starter or in the pen, you put him on that roster. If not, you release him.

 

Short Read

 

exactly.  even if the Angels have a great offseason and get all the pieces they think they need, Blanton will be in camp so they can see how he's throwing and see if they can get anything for their $8.5M.  My guess is he's on the opening day roster no matter what, but will be on a short leash.

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I wouldn't be surprised to see Dipoto trade Blanton to a NL team that needs a 5th starter while we eat about $3-5 million of his salary. Someone will look at his pre-2013 history and take a flyer on him to fill out their rotation.

 

Very possible, considering Johnson got $8 million from the Padres and had worse numbers than Blanton last year.  

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Very possible, considering Johnson got $8 million from the Padres and had worse numbers than Blanton last year.  

 

Yeah Johnson has higher upside but Blanton has a better history of consistency if you subtract out 2013. Now that you said that I'm wondering how much of Blanton's salary we would really have to eat, if any.

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Yeah Johnson has higher upside but Blanton has a better history of consistency if you subtract out 2013. Now that you said that I'm wondering how much of Blanton's salary we would really have to eat, if any.

 

I would think we would have to eat some.  At $5 million someone may take a flier on him.  But heck, even if we save $3 million, that's a quality reliever we can get to replace him.  

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I wouldn't be surprised to see Dipoto trade Blanton to a NL team that needs a 5th starter while we eat about $3-5 million of his salary. Someone will look at his pre-2013 history and take a flyer on him to fill out their rotation.

I wouldn't be surprised either but I agree with Red....you wait and let him pitch in the spring...somebody may bite then....probably won't bite now....see Wells and the Yanks, after lots of injuries, last spring...

Edited by DMVol
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Pitching is a fickle position. I sense that he'll be with the team in ST and will have a opportunity to win a starting position.

I really hope not. I hope that, if he does make the team, he's given a really short leash pitching garbage innings out of the pen. If he sucks, then release him. 

 

Still hoping there is a team out there that shows some interest though where we can pick up most of the salary and save a few million dollars. 

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Ya, at absolute most he should be the swingman out of the pen(if they decide Jerome isn't worth his arb. raise) and even that's a big IF.

 

If he's in the starting rotation in a scenario that doesn't involve an injury or two or 8 on Opening Day, we're screwed.

Edited by jshep
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He's a sunk cost. You let him go to camp, but don't plan on him helping and plan the offseason and plan accordingly.

If he seems like he can be useful as a starter or in the pen based on his spring training performance, you put him on the roster.  If not, you release him, either out of spring training or during the year.

 

Short Read

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He's a sunk cost. You let him go to camp, but don't plan on him helping and plan the offseason and plan accordingly.

If he seems like he can be useful as a starter or in the pen based on his spring training performance, you put him on the roster.  If not, you release him, either out of spring training or during the year.

 

Short Read

 

 

Friggen brutal...damn cold medicine 

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