Welcome Joe

The hunt for a starter has landed Joe Blanton from the A’s, just in time for the second-half hunt for the pennant race.

Yes, we gave up three prospects for him. But consider this: none of the three  would be helping the big club this year and perhaps only Outman next season. 

Blanton, 27, is not a rent-a-pitcher for the rest of the season as he can’t become a free agent until 2010. He not only fits in the rotation for 2008 but for the future, a key element.  Giving up prospects for a pitcher just entering his prime is an excellent decision.

He’s in his fourth big league season, winner of 12-16-14 games going into this season.  True, 5-12 doesn’t look good.  Run support hasn’t been there for him.  When the A’s scored 4 or more runs, he was 37-5.  Joe will be backed with run support he hasn’t seen.

The big man goes to the post (averaged 33 starts for first three big league seasons).  He’s an inning-eater, a real workhorse.  His transaction column is free of injuries, another key element.

Rather than waiting for the July 31 trading deadline, we moved quickly in getting Joe.  He’ll get two-three more starts by making the deal now.

So, cross of starting pitching from the shopping list.  Still in the shopping cart: another reliever, preferably a lefty, and a hitter. 

If the Manuel V-8 Machine does what it is capable, another hitter many not be necessary.  Lack of consistency has been the biggest problem with the offense.

Clubs under Manuel, both here and Cleveland, have been second-half successes.  The road to October baseball starts tonight in Miami. 

Right out of the shoot, three with the Marlins and then three with the Mets in New York. 
Play ball.


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