Blanton Always a Quality Start

I was offered Johnny Estrada and Bartolo Colon for Corey Hart and Joe Blanton.  I’m not high on Colon.  Estrada is having a great season and I am stuck with Ramon Hernandez having a lousy year behind the plate.  Also, Corey Hart has been hot but is really cooling off.

Also, is Joe Blanton as good as he’s been pitching?

Thanks, Jesse from New York

Jesse,

Reject this offer!  By taking the deal, you would be paying for the upgrade from Hernandez to Estrada with the significant step down from Blanton to Colon…PLUS Corey Hart, whose five-tool production is very valuable, especially in roto formats.  Right now, Colon is barely worth a roster spot in a standard 12 team 5×5 league (To read more on Colon, see my previous post).  I understand Hernandez has so far had a miserable year, but I’m not giving up on him just yet.  Over the past three seasons, Hernandez has hit around 20 points higher after the All-Star break.  Even if you don’t believe in Ramon, why lose BOTH Blanton and Hart?  Either get back a better pitcher than Colon or trade Hart for Estrada straight up.  Of the two, the Hart for Estrada trade option would be my choice.

This leads to your question about Blanton, who I would be in no hurry to trade.  Blanton’s been very consistent this year, allowing three earned runs or less in 14 of his 19 starts and pitching at least six innings in all but two of them.  If his career post-break numbers mean anything (15-9 3.63 ERA), more solid outings are to come.  Let’s not forget he was a top prospect in the A’s farm system for several years.  Though it’s unrealistic to expect his ERA to remain in the low 3’s, don’t be surprised if Blanton finishes the season with an ERA in the 3.50-3.60 range to go along with 16-18 wins.

Zach Steinhorn, MLB.com   

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