The Phillies and Joe Blanton have avoided arbitration by signing a 3-year extension worth 24 million dollars. Blanton, 29, went 4-0 in 13 starts with a 4.20 ERA after being acquired from the Phillies last season, and posted a 3.18 ERA in three postseason starts.
He continued on a strong 2008 finish to be one of the Phillies' most consistent pitchers in 2009, posting a 12-8 record and a 4.05 ERA in 31 starts. Blanton is the teams number three starter, behind Roy Halladay and Cole Hamels, bridging to pitchers J.A. Happ and Jamie Moyer or Kyle Kendrick.
Blanton is a true innings eater, pitching at least 190 innings in each of the past five seasons. Locking him through his best years is a great move on the Phillies part, and they should see the dividends of having a solid and reliable number three starter behind two aces.