Blanton, and Worley, and Trades, Oh My – Phillies Nation

Blanton, and Worley, and Trades, Oh My

There has been lots of chatter lately about how good Vance Worley looks thus far in his young career.  His starts have been impressive; his relief appearance coming in after Blanton was also a great thing to see.  But we all know that change is coming.  Whenever Roy Oswalt is ready to return, and Joe Blanton feels back to normal, we know those guys are returning to their spots in the rotation.  As our offense struggles to consistently give run support, many fans are starting to wonder what additions can be made to spark the lineup.

Domonic Brown is off to a strong start at AAA Lehigh Valley (.353 avg, and a 1.013 OPS through nine games).  It is possible that Domonic Brown, and a healthy Chase Utley are all the help we need.  But with a General Manager that loves making moves, and a decent amount of tradable pieces down on the farm, I think it’s safe to assume that Ruben Amaro will be making changes to the roster in July.

The names that I want to focus on right now are Joe Blanton and Vance Worley, two pitchers that would be desirable to different teams, for different reasons.

Clubs that have a chance at the playoffs would probably rather acquire Joe Blanton, a playoff-tested veteran with the proven ability to succeed at the Major League level.

Teams that are looking to move their own veterans (if we are in the market for a Right-Handed OF, or a 2b), those teams would most likely look to add one or more of our younger arms.  That is where Vance Worley might come into play… he’s young, he’s talented, he’s cheap and under team control.

If I’m a General Manager, and assuming my team can’t win this year, I’d rather have Worley than Blanton.  However, if I run a team in need of a #3-4 type starter, someone to help us down the stretch, and plug into a possible playoff rotation, I’d go after Joe Blanton, asking the Phillies to split the tab.

I keep reading the name Michael Cuddyer (Twins, RF) mentioned as a Phillies target.  To me, they would only look to move him if they fall out of contention, and if they get to that point – they would have no need for Joe Blanton, so they would likely ask for Worley PLUS others.  Worley isn’t the Phillies highest rated pitching prospect, but he is likely their closest, as he could start for MOST teams right now.  I wouldn’t move any of our Top Prospects to rent a player like Cuddyer – but for Worley, I think I’d make the trade.  …What do you guys think, who would you rather keep…and who do you think is most likely to leave?

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  1. TheDipsy

    May 12, 2011 at 3:00 pm

    Ah, Michael Cuddyer. No kidding. He would be a great addition for a number of reason. He’s right handed. He can play third base, too. Which means that if Chase can’t play, we can move Polanco to second. And if he can play right he can also play left. Ibanez needs to get off the field. I doubt we would even have to trade Worley in that deal. We could trade some Colvin, Cosart, DeFreitas types.

    I am very concerned about the defense of this team right now. Whether it be Valdez or Utley, we are gonna be weak at 2B. Lets face it, the more Valdez plays, the more I understand why he is a reserve. He’s not a great fielder. I don’t like BenFran in left and DBrown won’t be a ton better but at least he has a great arm. And Ibanez..well, lets just say that everytime he tries to throw out a guy coming from second, I fear a rotator cuff injury…..for the third base coach on the other team from windmilling his arm like a spastic. Ibanez is an absolute scourge out there. The Phils won’t even get out of the National League with this defense. Ibanez is incapable of hitting the way he would need to to justify keeping him in the field like that. Getting rid of him is job 1.

    The Dipsy

    • Hunter Maenner

      May 12, 2011 at 8:24 pm

      Cosart and Colvin are their best pitching prospects and many scouts think they have top of the rotation stuff. I think Reuben would try not to trade them. Worley falls third or possibly fourth depending on how high you are on Trevor May. I think after seeing Stutes though, De Fratus is tradable.

  2. john russo

    May 12, 2011 at 3:00 pm

    I’ve been thinking about this for the past week and was glad to finally see others start to bring this up. Worley can definitely fill in well, giving him some value to other teams. Blanton’s ML experience also makes him a trading chip.

    I guess it depends who you’re willing to cough up in order to better the offense. We get Utley, Brown and Ruiz back by the end of the month/early June if things go as planned. They have until the deadline to see if they need that bat.

  3. Publius

    May 12, 2011 at 3:05 pm

    As one of your more vocal critics, let me just first say, good article! I agree with your breakdown of Blanton and Worley and who might go to what kind of team. One key component to keep in mind is that Blanton is making $10.5 mil this year and next, which is a very high cost for a player like Blanton. In order to move Blanton, Rube will probably have to either eat a lot of the money, move prospects along with Joe, or get someone back with a similar hefty contract.

    Worley should be traded, since his value is at its highest and he’s a young, MLB-ready starter who the Phillies don’t have an immediate need for. Worley alone will not bring in anyone worth trading for, but he and a more marginal prospect should be enough to get a serviceable MLB player.

  4. TheDipsy

    May 12, 2011 at 3:07 pm

    Publius – I think Worley is gonna be really good.

    The Dipsy

    • Publius

      May 12, 2011 at 3:14 pm

      And you might be right! I am impressed by what I’ve seen. But unfortunately (for him) the Phils have a slew of depth at SP, and Blanton’s price tag means that the Phils may not be able to get the RH bat they NEED with him. In order to get a Cuddyer, Pence or someone else like that, the Phils are gonna have to give up young guys who are MLB ready, which Worley fits to a T. I’m saying this as a fan of a rebuilding team as well, the Mariners. If the M’s had an OFer that fit the Phillies’ needs (which they don’t, their lineup is a wasteland of mediocrity), I would want someone who could compete now or soon, not a slew of younger guys. Plus, guys like Cosart, Colvin and other younger pitchers need to stay in the system as long as possible, since we’re gonna need them once the 4 aces retire/sign elsewhere.

  5. Don M

    May 12, 2011 at 3:10 pm

    I just think its easy to say that we would like to trade Blanton and his salary . . . but it all depends on who the other team is, and the reason I bring up the Twins is because they are always looking to cut costs (or at least that’s the track record of the past decade)… Worley at $400,000 would seemingly interest them more than Blanton …

    I was never big on Worley as nothing about his minor league numbers ever gave him that “Top Prospect” kind of billing . . . but the same can be said about JA Happ, who every team in baseball would like to have in their rotation.

    I think Blanton is still a good pitcher, and gets knocked by fans/media a little too much. The inquirer the other day had somethng like how Blanton was “bailed out by his defense turning four double-plays behind him” . . That is true, but Blanton was able to throw pitches to get those hitters to ground into double plays – so he should get some credit for that, right? … Worley’s value might be sky high come the deadline, so it might be wise to deal him then instead of putting stock that he really is this good

  6. Don M

    May 12, 2011 at 3:11 pm

    Pubs, swear to god I didn’t see your post, before I sent that . . . weird that we’re completely on the same page with that. I’m really starting to like you!

  7. Pat Gallen

    May 12, 2011 at 3:12 pm

    The issue right now is Blanton continuing to say his elbow is “cranky.” That’s not helping his trade value one iota. Hopefully by the deadline he’s 100 percent, but it seems to me they want to keep him.

  8. Lefty

    May 12, 2011 at 3:13 pm

    I’d be willing to listen to offers for either or both, BUT NOT YET.

    That’s not what the team with the best record in MLB does. What we do is listen to those who are underachieving (Twins are a good example) and have needs. When/if Brown and Utley return and play for a couple months, then we can make a fair assessment of our needs for a strong playoff run. But adding more age than we already have at this point makes no sense to me, and adding huge salary doesn’t either.

    So when the time comes and the decision is made that we can’t cover for our own weaknesses, I would say trade either or both if necessary. As much as I like the potential Worley shows, you have to give to get.

  9. Don M

    May 12, 2011 at 3:23 pm

    Is there something, somewhere that says Hunter Pence is available??? He’s basically the entire Astros franchise right now, and he’s 28 (I think) .. I can’t see them moving him, especially not to the Phillies for anything less than a BOAT LOAD of talent

    I threw Cuddyer’s name out there a while ago as a RH “rental” that also fits a corner outfield, and even 1b spot … we have the pieces to rent players, not worry about keeping him after this year, since our window to win is NOW with Halladay, Lee, Oswalt, Hamels … it would be a shame to worry so much about guys in A-ball that we don’t win now

  10. Andrew From Waldorf

    May 12, 2011 at 3:36 pm

    Worley would have value if the Phillies showcased him. Which they arent doing.
    If you were going to trade him youd have to do that so it would increase his value.
    And if he pitched well Id not want to trade him because he is 24.

    There will be a phillies team in 2016 and almost all the guys on the current roster wont be on it.

    When Utley comes back if hes playing well. How about trading him or Jimmy or Victorino (who has been playing great).

    Not saying it has to be now or this year even. But at some point this roster has to get younger. It just has to or its going to get really messy.

    • Jay aka Phillyboy

      May 12, 2011 at 3:40 pm

      Andrew,i don’t see them trading any of those guys…..

      • Andrew From Waldorf

        May 12, 2011 at 3:49 pm

        I dont think they will either.
        But at some point you have to move older players for younger or to make room for younger players.
        IMO the biggest problem with the offense is line up age and staleness.
        Was last year and I see the same thing this year.
        They still have a lot of heart and will get in the playoffs.
        But I fear a similar scenario to the Giants series in the playoffs last year if its the same lineup minus Werth.

  11. Jay aka Phillyboy

    May 12, 2011 at 3:38 pm

    That’s true Don.M but you don’t want to sell the farm as they say either.We really just need to get healthy and send these career AAAA guys back where they belong!

  12. TheDipsy

    May 12, 2011 at 4:07 pm

    Andrew – What is your hurry to get younger? The team next year will be younger merely by attrition. Ibanez, Lidge, Madson, possibly Rollins are gonna be gone. The year after that….relax, Ruben planned this way.

    The Dipsy

    • Andrew From Waldorf

      May 12, 2011 at 4:17 pm

      No hurry. Ibanez and Lidge are really not even factoring into this year. In a positive way that is. Remember what built this team was young players coming of age and becoming great together at the same time. As they age if you keep them all together they get old together.

  13. TheDipsy

    May 12, 2011 at 4:08 pm

    *year after that…Polanco.

    The Dipsy

  14. DeBo

    May 12, 2011 at 4:18 pm

    As long as they don’t trade Cosart, Singleton, Brown, or any of their current position starters, I don’t care. Worley or Blanton. Either one could go. Someone mentioned Cudyer? I hope they can do better then that…

    …and you’re high if you think they won’t sign Rollins after with how shallow SS is in both the minors and the bigs. Regardless of his plate regression, he’s a perrenial gold glover. He’ll retire in red pinstripes.

    • Andrew From Waldorf

      May 12, 2011 at 4:34 pm

      If another team wants to get stupid like the Nats did with Werth would be stupid for the phils to grossly overpay for anyone.
      At he right number Id love to see Jimmy finish career with the phils. For the glove you mentioned. Just dont know if he should still be hiting at or near the top of the order.

  15. GRP1953

    May 12, 2011 at 4:20 pm

    I love Worley and Stutes , both of whom are “give me the ball” guys and have good stuff. Trade Kendrick although he has won a lot of games for us he looks like a deer in the headlights compared to Worley and Stutes. Blanton is a big second half guy for us and I would prefer to keep him but I would also not like to lose him for nothing at seasons end if this is his FA year.

  16. DeBo

    May 12, 2011 at 4:21 pm

    ….Oh yeah @ Andrew- They’ll be fine. We have the 5th ranked farm system as far as talent. The team is built to win right now.

    • Andrew From Waldorf

      May 12, 2011 at 4:29 pm

      Any trade would be to win now. Or it would be a horrible trade.
      I never meant to trade for the future.
      I am just of the opinion that trading a big name player might help the team right now. More so than trading a Worley or KK.

  17. Andrew From Waldorf

    May 12, 2011 at 4:23 pm

    Our old buddy Lenny in the news.
    Trending second right now on Yahoo.
    Was my favorite in 93.

  18. Pat Gallen

    May 12, 2011 at 4:38 pm

    I wish they would keep Worley too. He’s a guy who can fill the rotation if/when Blanton/Oswalt leave. Not sure what value Blanton has on the open market.

  19. Don M

    May 12, 2011 at 4:45 pm

    You can’t trade impact players from your everyday roster- and expect to keep winning. Utley’s been injured so he has a lower trade value now than ever. . . Rollins and Victorino are both desirable to a lot of teams, but they play great defense and prime positions . . . and trading either of them would just create another hole .

    Our best bet is to upgrade the corner OF production – whether that’s Brown in RF and Francisco in LF over Ibanez . . . or Ibanez/Mayberry platoon in LF, with Fran/Brown in RF …

    who knows.. but Im not into trading any of our regulars

  20. JayJay

    May 12, 2011 at 4:48 pm

    They would be dumb to trade a young arm like Worley, especially since Oswalt is gone after this season…… Blanton needs to go

  21. tavian

    May 12, 2011 at 4:50 pm

    I like Cuddyer, but I would want to move Blanton for him. I think Worley has a very bright future. I would, however, move Worley and a bullpen prospect for Hunter Pence. I would also include that hitting first baseman (Rizzolli ?) for Pence. I would then need to keep Blanton. Getting both Cuddyer and Pence would be a most interesting acquisition, and I would give up both Blanton and Worley for these two players, plus I would include Rizzolli and a minor league bullpen prospect.

    You can tell that I am really horny to add offense to this team, can’t you? Our outfield would be very solid with Pence, Victorino, Cuddyer/Brown. Cuddyer could relieve Polanco and Polaco could occasionally give Utley a rest. Cuddyer could also give Howard a rest against nasty southpaws.

  22. Andrew From Waldorf

    May 12, 2011 at 4:55 pm

    Yes they should have actively tried to move them last off season or should this off season.

    I am saying only a trade of one that immediately fills that hole and then some.

    Not leaving a hole for a team trying to win the world series. Any trade including any of the regula players would be a trade to make the team better today not the future.

    Like for example. Not saying this is happening or discussed or even possible. Just saying a deal like Victorino and Blanton for Mccutchen and Garret Jones.
    Something like that.

    My point is that fans and franchises shouldnt grow overly attached to players.
    Kind of like the New England approach. If moving anyone helps the team. Make the move.
    Ive heard Tom Brady trade rumors this year. I respect that alot.

  23. Andrew From Waldorf

    May 12, 2011 at 4:58 pm

    Howard isnt getting a rest against anyone.
    Contract and status makes it impossible.

    Pence reminds me alot of Von Hayes. Who I loved when I was a kid 🙂
    But all things considered hed look super in right for the phillies right now and Brown in left.

  24. The Dipsy

    May 12, 2011 at 6:00 pm

    Ah yes, the sweet swing of Von Hayes. Remember this top 5: Juan Samuel, Jeff Stone, Von Hayes, Mike Schmidt, Lance Parrish……. The first half of my dream lineup of 1985. The one that never materialized.

    I would give my left nut for McKutcheon but he’s not going anywhere unless you can give the Bucc-oooos younger and cheaper players. So they can stink for less money. Maybe something like a Worley and Singleton? I say trade Shane. He’s the one to go.

    The Dipsy

    • Andrew From Waldorf

      May 12, 2011 at 6:11 pm

      Jeff Stone. I still have his rookie cards somewhere. He could run.
      I can argue that the Von hayes trade was a good one too.
      Lance Parrish just kind of fell off the face of the planet when he came to the phils. Like all the Mets FA signings now

      My Mccutchen thing totaly hypothetical and impossible. Just saying moves of anyone arent always bad.
      How about Halladay for Itchiro and Hernandez? Of course its impossible. But id do it. So trading even the best player isnt always bad.

  25. bacardipr05

    May 12, 2011 at 6:12 pm

    I bet Rube goes for none of these guys(mentioned in earlier posts) you know he has an affinity for 36+ yo at their end of their career. We wind up with Vladimir for Blanton an another Prospect. I would like to keep Worley. Is it possible we can somehow move Lidge.

  26. The Dipsy

    May 12, 2011 at 6:52 pm

    Lidge us unmovable. He could get released actually. I think Jeff Stone stole 140 bases in one minor league season or something like that. Glenn Wilson on that team, too. I thought Stone was gonna be so great but he turned out to be such a lunkhead. Actually too dumb to play baseball. I’m gonna do my “All Coulda-Been” team one day. I’ll tell ya what, Strawberry and Gooden will be 1 and 1A. All that talent wasted makes ya wanna cry.

    The Dipsy

    • Andrew From Waldorf

      May 12, 2011 at 8:52 pm

      Lidge has no value. Except for us to hope he could work his way back into being a credible reliever. When he comes back he shuold be in a limited role. If he proves himself give him more responsibility. Personaly if he ever is effective for the Phillies again ill be very suprised.

      Stone stole 123 in a year in the minors.

      And Dwight Gooden has a better career WAR than Sandy Koufax. Go figure

  27. Chuck

    May 12, 2011 at 6:53 pm

    I would love McCutcheon in a Phillies uniform but I just don’t see it happening. And I also agree that Worley is gonna be really good. I would love to see him here but I get the logic of moving him in the right deal.

  28. Chuck

    May 12, 2011 at 6:55 pm

    Brad Lidge is a non-factor as far as I’m concerned.

  29. josh

    May 12, 2011 at 6:56 pm

    we have the best record in baseball. we’re getting our best prospect (brown) and our best position player (utley) back. two of our pitchers are already banged up and any other can go down–it almost always happens. this whole idea of trading one of them doesn’t make any sense to me.

  30. Tavian

    May 12, 2011 at 7:14 pm

    Remember Alex Johnson? Won a batting title in the American League with the Angels. Once he was hit in the head by a Don Drysdale pitch and did not flinch. Just ran to first base. He could not get along with anyone and I believe he was deemed mentally ill. A real shame because the guy had so much potential. He played for a number of teams starting with the Phils. Nobody kept him more than a year. He was dangerous, dumb but a genuine talent. He and Milton Bradley would be a couple of wild and crazy corner outfielders.

  31. Andrew From Waldorf

    May 12, 2011 at 8:57 pm

    Dont forget
    Jimmy Piersall

    I sat through all of fear strikes out once. Could tell Anthony Perkins had no interest in baseball. But it was an interesting film..

  32. The Dipsy

    May 12, 2011 at 9:05 pm

    Alex Johnson is a good one. Kerry Wood. Best stuff I’ve ever seen in my life. Better than Gooden, Ryan, Clemens. Herb Score. Tony C. I think Brad Lidge will be released. Only fair to let him latch onto another squad.

    The Dipsy

  33. Andrew From Waldorf

    May 12, 2011 at 9:15 pm

    Kerry wood still pitching middle relief for the cubbies

    The ones like him who got hurt are different than the ones who just screw it up through off field crap and being stupid.

    Then there are the ones like Lyman Bostock who get shot and killed or the great Phillie hall of famer Eddie Delahanty who was drunk and kicked off a train in in Niagra falls. We still dont knwo if he jumped or fell into Niagra Falls.

  34. The Dipsy

    May 12, 2011 at 9:22 pm

    Nah….I count the guys that get hurt like Wood. He was a wunderkind. He looked like a sure fire hall of famer. Then the arm troubles. Who had a better home run stroke than Darryl?

    The Dipsy

  35. Andrew From Waldorf

    May 12, 2011 at 9:29 pm

    Strawberry played at a time when cocaine was available in the clubhouse and the teams looked the other way. The mets had drug dealers in there every day.

    Was definately a waste.

    He has a son named DJ who played basketball for Maryland and is still int the NBS developmental league.

  36. bfo_33

    May 13, 2011 at 8:15 am

    Nice post Don, created a lot of good discussion. The sellers this year are going to be the teams that fell out, and want to cut costs, add potential. I think it is very unlikely Blanton gets moved, esp as stated above, when he keeps stating his elbow isn’t quite right. The only way Blanton goes is if the Phils eat a lot of the contract, add Rizotti, and get a underachieving, high priced extra part. For the msot part, Rube makes smart trades, so I don’t see it happening.

    I’d love to keep Worley, who has slightly above average stuff, but great composure and knows how to pitch. He’s the guy who has value, esp to a team that has fallen out of contention, and wants to shed payroll, build for the future. By the end of May, the divisions are going to line up, and 2 or three teams from each division are going to fall out of the race. Still too early to tell. One guy who would make a ton of sense (last year of contract, switch hitter, on a team going nowhere, has little pitching prospects) is Beltran, but that deal won’t ever happen. Should be interesting.

  37. Robert

    May 14, 2011 at 7:41 pm

    The Phils need Worley and his versatility. With an aging Halladay, Lee and Oswalt, and a creaky elbowed Blanton, Worley is invaluable as a spot starter. Oswalt has a bad back, and so does Lee!
    Plus, I’d take Worley over Kendrick every day in the long relief role or spot starter role. The Phils have already demonstrated the value Worley provides in his current role.
    Also, the Phils’ offense is in steady decline, so they can’t weaken their pitching, and they sure don’t need to get any older.
    Of the two, I’d ship Blanton before Worley.

  38. John

    July 17, 2011 at 1:12 pm

    I would switch Worley with Oswalt(he’s 6-1) and let RO EARN his starting spot. Mr Worley sure has…

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