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Kicking the Tires on Joe Blanton

From Buster Olney (pay wall):

General manager Brian Cashman has made it clear he wants to hold onto the most developed Yankees prospects -- Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy -- and given the Yankees' exit from the Santana trade talks, that might seem to take them out of play in the Blanton talks.
And the Yankees can make a deal for Blanton without surrendering either Joba Chamberlain or Hughes, because the Athletics aren't necessarily looking for major league ready prospects in return for Blanton. They would take talented players from Class A or Double-A.
That would be music to my ears.

I've said before that when I evaluate prospects I don't get excited about anybody until he makes AA. So I'd be willing to dangle anybody from the lower end of the system for a frontline starter.

But Blanton is not a frontline starter. In three full seasons the 28 year old has sandwiched two very good years around a bad year.

2005 203.1 1.22 5.19 3.00 .236 .300 .394
2006 194.1 1.54 4.96 2.69 .309 .356 .448
2007 230.0 1.22 5.48 1.57 .269 .301 .378

Now, in Blanton's defense his Batting Average on Balls in Play has jumped from .249 to .336 to .301, so that bad year looks like a lot of bad luck. Furthermore, his K/9 has held pretty steady across all three seasons and those declining BB/9 would be a welcome change from the Farnsworth/Bruney approach to pitching.

Olney names the Reds as the frontrunners, and they have the advantage of being out of the National League and not the Yankees. The Reds also have the advantage of dangling Homer Bailey, who at this time last year was the second best pitching prospect in the game behind Phil somebody... until his mediocre control caught up to his electric stuff in AAA/MLB last season (60 walks in 112.2 combined IP).

Obviously, it's the secondary pieces that will make or break the deal, but I would be willing to move either Horne or Jackson plus a pair at the Jeff Marquez/George Kontos level.