As Philadelphia wakes up Tuesday morning to the news that the Phillies have signed Cliff Lee to a five year deal, we can except a certain level of "OHMYGOD!"
After all, the Phillies will boast a rotation in 2011 that includes Lee, Roy Oswalt, Roy Halladay and Cole Hamels; put another away: the MLB leader in WAR, the NL WHIP leader, the 2010 NL Cy Young Award winner and the best lefty ERA in the second half of 2010, respectively. It doesn't matter too much who the fifth starter (especially when/if the Phillies get in the postseason), but it will likely not be Joe Blanton.
Blanton, who made 28 starts for Philadelphia in 2010, is apparently on his way out in a move designed to dump some salary. Sports Illustrated's Jon Heyman is reporting that the Phillies have "a deal in place" to ship Blanton to the Boston Red Sox (Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal tweeted earlier Tuesday morning that the "Phillies were deep in discussions yesterday about sending Blanton to RedSox").
Blanton, a 30-year-old right-handed pitcher, was 9-6 with a 4.82 ERA in 2010. More importantly though, from a Phillies' perspective, is the fact he still has two years remaining on his contract, worth $8.5 million in both 2011 and '12.
A move to Boston would be surprising -- not only have they already taken on a lot of salary this offseason in the form of Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford, but they also already have starting pitchers Jon Lester, John Lackey, Clay Buchholz, Daisuke Matsuzaka and Josh Beckett, with Tim Wakefield still under contract.