Orioles Are Blanton’s Most Interested Suitor

8:55pm: The teams continue haggling about players and money, Jayson Stark of ESPN.com reports (on Twitter).  The Phillies would absorb more money if they get a better prospect in return.

8:15pm: The Orioles are declining to trade Schoop for Blanton, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter).  The teams are deep in negotiations, Connolly writes.  Five to seven teams, including the Blue Jays, have showed interest in Blanton, according to Connolly.

8:04pm: The Phillies want to shed all of Blanton's contract (he's owed $3.02MM from here until the end of the season), but the Orioles are hesitant to take on that much salary in this case, Connolly reports (Twitter links). The Phillies believe they have other options, so negotiations could continue until the trade deadline on Tuesday.

7:03pm: Bob Brookover of the Philadelphia Inquirer hears the Phillies want infield prospect Jonathan Schoop for Blanton.  Schoop, 20, entered the season as the Orioles' number three prospect behind Dylan Bundy and Manny Machado, according to Baseball America.  However, he didn't crack the publication's midseason list of the top 50 prospects in the game.  Schoop has a .244/.301/.391 batting line in 413 plate appearances at Double-A this year.

4:39pm: The Phillies have sent Blanton's medical records to the Orioles, Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com reports (on Twitter).

11:04am: The Orioles are Joe Blanton's most interested suitor, according to MLB.com's Britt Ghiroli.  She reminds us that the Cardinals and Blue Jays have also expressed interest.  But for the Orioles, the Phillies' righty is "there if they want him," a source tells Ghiroli.  Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com says the Orioles have been checking Blanton out since spring training, and Danny Knobler of CBS Sports reported on the team's interest as well today.  Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun tweets that while the Orioles are one of five to seven teams that inquired on Blanton and they may be the most intrigued, the organization is torn on whether he'll help.

Ghiroli says the Orioles have scouted Blanton heavily, and one source tells her the Phillies seek an MLB-ready utility player or a middle relief prospect.  Blanton, 31, has a 4.59 ERA, 7.8 K/9, 1.2 BB/9, 1.49 HR/9, and 43.9% groundball rate in 133 1/3 innings this year, and he's averaged over 6.6 innings per start.  He'll take the ball every fifth day and won't hurt himself with walks, but will also allow tons of hits and home runs.  Blanton signed an extension with the Phillies in January of 2010 and has just over $3MM left on his contract.     

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