Before we get a chance to get excited about baseball again (25 days till pithcers and catchers report) The Phillies had to get down to some dollars and cents. In the first of three arbitration hearing this week the Phillies agreed to a contract extension with starting pitcher Joe Blanton.
The Phillies and Blanton agreed to a three year $24 million dollar deal that will keep Joe in Philly till 2012. This was a huge compramise for the Phillies as Blanton and his agent sent out an initial arbitration number of around $10.3 million per year.
Blanton was set to become a free agent at the completion of the season but Phillies general manager Reuben Amaro Jr. wanted to sign Blanton to give the Phillies rotation stability.
"If you see the clubs that have sustained success, it's about having stability in your rotation," stated Amaro at the press conference.
Last season Blanton had a record of 12-8 with a 4.05 era in 31 games.
The 28 year old Blanton has a career 4.21 era and was a major contributor to the Phillies 2008 World Championship after coming over from Oakland in a midseason trade.
Next up in the arbitration negotiations for the Phillies are catcher Carlos Ruiz and outfielder Shane Victorino, both are expected to sign long term extensions.