The Angels, possibly growing increasingly frustrated by the rumors the Dodgers and Rangers might go ahead and pay Zack Greinke like a billion dollars, went ahead and settled on boring ol’ Joe Blanton for now. Blanton agreed to sign a two-year contract that will pay him $15 million for his efforts. The 31-year-old’s deal will also have an option for a third season, though the exact details on the option remain a great big mystery.
Blanton might now be the most exciting pitcher in baseball (hint: he sure isn’t!), but he has his virtues. The thick right-hander posted a 4.71 ERA, 3.91 FIP, and 3.39 FIP in 2012 on the strength of a stellar 1.6 BB/9 rate. Blanton also managed to strike out 7.82/9, which just so happens to be the best K-rate of his nine-year career so far. All in all, FanGraphs values Blanton’s 2012 contribution to the Phillies and Orioles at 2.4 WAR, which is fine for a guy you’d stick somewhere around the back of a starting rotation.
Despite having consistently put up solid peripherals largely because he refuses to walk anyone, we like Joe Blanton a lot less than we feel like we could. That’s probably because he just really seems to like getting hit hard. Blanton’s best case scenario is probably another couple of years like his last one, but we’re doubting that scenario is actually the most likely one in store for Big Blanton. Again, Blanton works fine as a guy made to fill out a rotation, but the Angels probably could have done better than to give him $15 million. Then again, I’m not a Major League Baseball GM for a Los Angeles team; those two jobs seem like a whole lot of fun. Just put some money out there, urinate all over it, and maybe light it on fire for good measure! No offense, DiPoto; you’re no Colletti even if you did make that whole Albert Pujols thing happen.