UPDATE: The Angels have signed Joe Blanton to a two-year, $15 million contract with an option for a third season, reports Jerry Crasnick of ESPN:
The deal effectively ends the Angels' pursuit of Zack Greinke, but leaves room for the club to pursue second-tier options like Brandon McCarthy, Shaun Marcum or Edwin Jackson.
The signing was first reported by Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.
Original Post: The Angels are close to signing pitcher Joe Blanton, reports Mike DiGiovanna of the LA Times. Blanton pitched last season for the Dodgers and Phillies, pitching to a 4.71 ERA and throwing 191 innings across the two teams.
The 31-year old made $8.5 million dollars last season, a decrease from his $10.5 million salary in 2011 for the Phillies.
He was drafted in 2002 by the Oakland Athletics, 24th overall in the first round. That was part of the famous draft that was chronicled in the book "Moneyball."
The Angels have been scouring the free agent pitching market, although they have signed mostly relievers up to this point. The team lost Zack Greinke and Dan Haren to free agency, and is reportedly out of the Greinke chase, while the Nationals signed Haren.
Blanton is part of a lower tier of starters that fall in after pitchers such as Anibal Sanchez and of course Zack Greinke, so this could be a sign that with Greinke narrowing his teams down, the starting pitching market is coming into focus.