Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

News

Dodgers Take Cues From Kings and Go Shopping in Philly [UPDATED]

LAist relies on your reader support.
Your tax-deductible gift today powers our reporters and keeps us independent. We rely on you, our reader, not paywalls to stay funded because we believe important news and information should be freely accessible to all.


The Dodgers, taking a cue from the Kings, have continued to acquire players from Philadelphia. The Kings got Mike Richards and Simon Gagne before the 2011-12 season and acquired Jeff Carter before the trade deadline en route to their first Stanley Cup Championship. The Dodgers hope to repeat the same feat.

"Let's hope it works for us as well as it worked for them," Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti amusingly noted when asked about the connection.

The Dodgers acquired Phillies centerfielder Shane Victorino on Tuesday morning hours before the non-waiver trade deadline. Then on Friday the Dodgers acquired right-handed starting pitcher Joe Blanton from the Phillies for the famous "Player To Be Named Later" much to Victorino's delight.

"I'm very excited knowing we're getting him," Victorino enthused.

Support for LAist comes from

The Philly connection was so blatant that even the Kings official Twitter feed had a comment.

The 31-year old Blanton has a 4.59 ERA this season and leads the Major Leagues with a 6.39 strikeouts-to-walks ratio. As Ben Duronio of Fangraphs noted on Tuesday, Blanton also has given up a National League-high 22 home runs which doesn't worry Mattingly.

"He's coming from a home run ballpark to more of a pitcher's ballpark," Mattingly explained. "Joe's a strike thrower and a guy who doesn't walk a lot of people. So if he's giving up solos, it's different than giving up that three-run homer."

Of the 22 homers Blanton has given up this season, only four have been a two-run shot and one was a three-run homer.

Support for LAist comes from

"We know what we're getting," Mattingly continued. "We're getting a guy that's going to be in the strike zone and knows what he's doing — a guy with experience we think makes us better."

The first-round draft pick, 24th overall pick, in the 2002 draft by the Oakland Athletics, Blanton made his Major League debut in 2004 for the A's out of the bullpen. He was traded to the Phillies in 2008 going 2-0 in the playoffs including a no-decision against the Dodgers in Game 4 of the NLCS that resulted in a 7-5 victory. Blanton also got the win in Game 4 of the World Series helping the Phillies win their first World Series since 1980. That was quite the incentive for Colletti.

"We felt it was a chance to get a veteran starter that's pitched in big games and pitched in the month of October is somebody we should pursue," Colletti explained.

Blanton's name had been bandied around by the two teams for a couple of months and escalated by the trading deadline according to Colletti. Colletti had wanted to include him with the Victorino deal, but the two teams couldn't come to an agreement.

"At that point, it complicated the Shane deal," Colletti said.

Support for LAist comes from

The subject was dropped and escalated since Wednesday when Ted Lilly's suffered a setback in his rehab from a left shoulder inflammation.

"Some of the similar pains were coming back," Mattingly said. "I knew the other day that Teddy wasn't feeling quite right, so I've been holding that card closer to the vest through the deadline."

Lilly scheduled appearance in a rehab game in Single-A Rancho Cucamonga was scratched, and he will be reevaluated in the coming days before knowing how to proceed.

Blanton will be a free agent at the end of the season.

Just to add to the Philly intrigue, Jon Morosi of Fox Sports reported on Friday afternoon that the Dodgers won the waiver of claim of Cy Young winning left-handed starter Cliff Lee.

Support for LAist comes from

Unlike Blanton, Lee is under contract through 2015 with a vesting option for 2016. Lee will be due $25 million a season from 2013 to 2015. If Lee pitches 200 innings in 2015 or a total of 400 innings from 2014 to 2015, the option will become guaranteed in 2016 which will pay out $27.5 million. If the option is not vested or picked up, the buy out is $12.5 million.

The Phillies have three options with the waiver claim: make a trade with the Dodgers within 48 hours; allow the Dodgers to take Lee's contract; rescind the waiver request.

Although Colletti and Mattingly are forbidden to talk about Lee and any potential deal, Victorino had no such restrictions.

"I'd love to see him in Dodger Blue, but I'm not the GM," Victorino said. Despite his enthusiasm, Victorino also knew the hurdles of being reunited with yet another former teammate.

"It's going to take a lot to get him. He is Cliff Lee."

This story is an updated version of a previous story published on LAist.