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MLB Trade Rumors: Pirates Could Be In Market For Phillies' Joe Blanton

Jayson Stark reports "rumblings" that the Pirates showed "mild interest" in trading for Phillies starting pitcher Joe Blanton, who makes $8.5 million in the last year of his contract in 2012. Don't expect such a trade to happen soon, however.

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Nevertheless, there's next to no chance they can deal Blanton before clubs get a chance to see him pitch this spring. After all, would you deal for a guy who just spent 127 days on the disabled list because of elbow trouble (and never did have surgery) without seeing him throw first?

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Blanton pitched in 11 games last season, making eight starts. When healthy, he's a competent, if uninspiring, innings eater. As I've said for months now, the Pirates can use that sort of player, because their rotation is currently flimsier than a balsa-wood airplane. Nonetheless, they shouldn't give up anything of value for Blanton, and they should also expect the Phillies to pay some of his salary.

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For more on the Pirates, check out Bucs Dugout. For more on the Phillies, there's The Good Phight.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.