The Reds and A’s definitely have talked. But the A’s are asking a lot for Joe Blanton — probably Homer Bailey or Johnny Cueto, plus Joey Votto and a third player. ….. The deal could happen if the A’s back off the price a bit.
Blanton appears to be a workhorse who will give you lots of innings. He will also give up a lot of hits and will not strike out that many batters. He is, however, a known commodity, and an improvement over the question marks — Belisle, Affeldt, Bailey, and Volquez — at the end of our rotation. Moving from the AL to the NL may be enough to offset him moving from a pitcher’s park in Oakland to a hitter’s park in Cincinnati.
The big question is: would you give up either Bailey or Cueto, plus Votto and another prospect for him? I think that I may pull the trigger on this one. Blanton would give us three solid rotation arms, with Belisle, Volquez, Affeldt, and either Bailey or Cueto for the last two spots in the rotation. We still have Hatteberg available for the bulk of ABs at 1B to back fill for Votto.
I’d still be on the lookout for a CF with the ideal of finally moving Dunn to 1B where I feel he belongs, both Brian Anderson and Coco Crisp could be available. I think the Blanton move could move them into contention in the NL Central next season without completely mortgaging the future.