Blanton Traded to Phillies for 3 Prospects
by Ken Arneson
2008-07-17 16:05

According to Buster Olney at ESPN, the A’s have sent Joe Blanton to Philadelphia for second baseman Adrian Cardenas, pitcher Josh Outman and outfielder Matthew Spencer.

The A’s must really think Mark Ellis is going to leave as a free agent, as the A’s are loading up on second base prospects all of a sudden. First they drafted Jemile Weeks, then they traded for Eric Patterson in the Rich Harden trade, and now they add Cardenas. Meanwhile, we’re still stuck with no heir apparents to either Bobby Crosby or Eric Chavez.

But heck, you can’t get a better name for a pitching prospect than Josh Outman, can you?

I like this trade better than the Harden trade, because I expected to get less from Blanton.  But Cardenas and Outman are legit prospects.  In the preseason, Kevin Goldstein gave them both 3-star ratings, while John Sickels ranked them both as solid B’s.  Spencer didn’t make Goldstein’s list, while Sickels gave him a C+.

BTW, if you don’t like either of the two trades, you can blame this article of mine.  I was literally two minutes from publishing it when the Rich Harden trade went down, and this Blanton trade goes through two minutes after I finally pressed the publish button on the thing.

Comments: 22
1.   Xeifrank
2008-07-17 16:20

1.  Grant Balfour and Willie Walkme.
vr, Xei

2.   trainwreck
2008-07-17 16:21

2.  Seeing Ellis leave will be really hard on the fans, he is absolutely loved.

This looks like another swindle for Billy.

3.   Chuck R
2008-07-17 16:22

3.  Who steps into the rotation, though? Gio?

4.   Eric Stephen
2008-07-17 16:25

4.  I posted this on Dodger Thoughts, but its more appropriate here:

Preseason Baseball America Phillies Prospects
Cardenas #2
Outman #4
Spencer unranked

---

Although a 2B now, Cardenas was the projected starting RF for the Phillies in 2011 by Baseball America. Cardenas was also rated the best hitter for average in the Phillies' system.

Outman was the #5 starter, behind Hamels, Myers, Carlos Carrasco (#1 prospect), and Joe Savery (#3). Outman's slider was rated best in the system.

---

Also, Cardenas was rated by BA as the #78 prospect in baseball back in April.

For reference, Sean Gallagher -- obtained from the Cubs in the Harden deal -- was ranked #82 overall.

5.   trainwreck
2008-07-17 16:28

5.  3
Seems to be the case.

6.   Ken Arneson
2008-07-17 16:32

6.  3 Maybe. Gio's been pitching lately like a guy who deserves to pitch in the majors. However, Gio's not on the 40-man, while a couple of other River Cats starters, Dallas Braden and Dan Meyer, are on it.

But since none of the three prospects were on the Phils' 40-man roster, the A's now have an opening on theirs after trading Blanton. They could use the spot to call up Gio or someone else like Kirk Saarloos, I suppose. Or maybe they decide they want to use it on a position player. We'll see, I guess.

7.   Sagehen
2008-07-17 16:34

7.  Hmmm. I have to wonder ... are the A's loading up at second in order to steal 3B Andy LaRoche from the Dodgers in trade? L.A. will need a 2B when Kent retires and may not have the sense to have LaRoche just change positions.

8.   trainwreck
2008-07-17 16:50

8.  7
Well Cardenas could be moved to the outfield eventually. I doubt they are doing these moves to get LaRoche, but it would be smart for Beane to steal LaRoche away from the Dodgers.

Dejesus just got moved to second by the way, so I think the Dodgers see him as the future at second.

Maybe the Duke to LA?

9.   Eric Stephen
2008-07-17 17:05

9.  8
Maybe the Duke to LA?

Duchscherer still has one more season (2009) until he hits free agency, so he probably wouldn't be traded until next year, if at all. By the end of next season, the A's might be strong enough to be able to keep him for another run.

10.   trainwreck
2008-07-17 17:07

10.  9
Beane will trade anyone if he gets the real deal. I can't even recall him ever trading a player in his free agent year during the season.

11.   Philip Michaels
2008-07-17 17:46

11.  I, for one, welcome our new prospects and wish them good luck until they are inevitably flipped for more prospects.

12.   Eric Stephen
2008-07-17 17:47

12.  10
Only one I can think of is Kendall last year. I guess Milton Bradley last would count to, but he was DFA'd so it's a different circumstance.

13.   Jason Wojciechowski
2008-07-17 18:09

13.  3 , 5 , 6 : I'm thinking Lenny DiNardo. He'd also have to be added to the 40-man, like Gonzalez, but you don't really care if you lose him on waivers when you push him off to get Mike Sweeney back on the roster. And he's better than Saarloos. He's probably also better than Meyer.

I'd love to see Braden get a clean shot, but the A's don't even like to use him in mopup, so I'm not sure what the chances of that are.

Of course, the rest of this season might well be looked at as mopup, so ...

14.   ToyCannon
2008-07-17 19:11

14.  8
From what I understand DeJesus only played 2nd in the futures game because Andrus was going to be the starting SS. He is getting time at 2nd in case they need him as a utility infielder but I don't think there is any way he is being moved to 2nd base for the long term. The man is a SS. I'll eat crow if I'm wrong as I have plenty in my backyard to choose from.

I'd love for us to get Ellis right now and plunk him at SS and then sign him as FA for 2nd next year. Don't tell me Ellis can't play SS, we have Nomar playing it right now.

15.   jmoney
2008-07-17 20:34

15.  I hated the Harden trade for subjective reasons (loved watching Harden, thought the A's didn't get enough) and love the Blanton trade by the same measure (sick of watching Blanton pitch, couldn't believe the Phils gave up that much).

Objectively, the truth is that the A's probably got something close to fair value for both of those guys, but it's funny how much our emotions play into how we look at these trades.

Next couple weeks should be interesting. Who's next, Ellis (probably)? Street? Crosby (please yes)? Duke (please no)? And where do Bedard and Burnett go?

16.   scareduck
2008-07-17 21:27

16.  4 - Spencer was rated #28 in the book.

17.   scareduck
2008-07-17 21:29

17.  15 - agreed, this was a pretty even trade. The Phils will get a guy who's a #3, #4 starter in the NL, and the A's get a couple guys near the top of the Phils' prospect list.

18.   Gagne55
2008-07-17 21:41

18.  I'd say the net utility of the trade is positive for both teams.

19.   das411
2008-07-18 06:30

19.  So is this the wrong place to ask whether Blanton is really the AL equivalent of Adam Eaton?

20.   standuptriple
2008-07-18 08:25

20.  Pass the Duchie to the NL side?

21.   dianagramr
2008-07-18 12:47

21.  20

Everyone can get a hit off that Duchie ...

22.   MrIncognito
2008-07-25 17:21

22.  Just as a quick commend on Weeks... I saw him at Kane County a little, and while it was a very small sample, he doesn't look likely to be replacing Ellis any time soon. He didn't look like a first round pick either, but it was his first year of pro ball, so I'll give him the mulligan.

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