ATLANTA - SEPTEMBER 28: Joe Blanton #56 of the Philadelphia Phillies pitches against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field on September 28, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
UPDATE 8:00 PM EST: The Orioles are still expressing interest in Blanton but are hoping for the price to come down some, reports Bob Brookover of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Baseball source says Orioles interested in Blanton, but hoping the price comes down.— Bob Brookover (@brookob) July 30, 2012
The Phillies have made it clear that Joe Blanton is available in a potential trade, and the Orioles –who have shown by far the most interest in the right-hander—are weighing whether the veteran Blanton is worth taking a flier on.
"He’s there if they want him," a source said of Blanton’s availability to the Orioles.
In the market for starting pitching help all month, Blanton may be the best starter still available to the Orioles in terms of price. The asking price for Blanton is believed to be a major league utility player, a middle-range pitching prospect or a reliever, which would allow Baltimore to hang on to top prospects Manny Machado and Dylan Bundy.
The 31-year-old Blanton owns a middling 4.59 ERA on the season but leads the league with a 6.39 K/BB ratio. The right-hander is also drawing interest from the Toronto Blue Jays and St. Louis Cardinals, but the Orioles are believed to be most involved.
A free agent at season's end, Blanton is owed just two months of his $8.5 million salary for the year.
Beyond Blanton, Dan Connelly of the Baltimore Sun is reporting that the O's have interested in Phillies outfielders Juan Pierre, Shane Victorino and Hunter Pence. Connolly adds Pierre makes the most sense for Baltimore "cost-wise."
Which Phillies player(s) should the Orioles target?