Posted by: portersprospectreport | July 18, 2008

Joe Blanton Traded to the Phillies—The A’s Do it Again

The masked marauder Billy “The Kid” Beane has done it again pillaging an unsuspecting farm system of its top prospects in exchange for a soon-to-be mediocre veteran pitcher.  Earlier this afternoon, the Oakland Athletics traded Joe Blanton to the Philadelphia Phillies for 2B Adrian Cardenas, LHP Josh Outman, and OF Matt Spencer. 

Joe Blanton

  • Blanton’s 2008 season has been, at best, forgettable.  A 14 game winner in 2007, Blanton has struggled to a 5-12 record with a 4.96 ERA in 20 starts this year.  Blanton is set to join the middle of a rotation that features Cole Hamels, Jamie Moyer, Kyle Kendrick, and Adam Eaton.  Blanton’s first year cards can be found in the 2002 Bowman Draft and Chrome set.  He also has a jersey card in the ’02 UD Prospect Premieres set.  Currently, neither garners much attention from collectors on Ebay, but that could change if Blanton wins some games down the stretch and, especially, in the post season.  While, I would not suggest buying any of his RC’s as an investment, Blanton’s move to the Phillies can only enhance the value of his cards.


Adrian Cardenas

  • Cardenas is definitely the cream of the crop of prospects headed to Oakland.  A 2006 supplimental 1st round pick out of a high school in Miami, Cardenas had a fine first full season at Low-A Lakewood hitting .295 with 9 HR 79 RBI and 20 SB.  This season at High-A Clearwater Cardenas was hitting .309 with 4 HR 23 RBI and 16 SB.  Cardenas should develop more power as he matures as he has good loft to his swing and drives the ball well to all fields.  I suspect that the A’s aquired Cardenas with the intent of moving him to 3rd base as Eric Chavez’ successor if his power develops as planned.  Cardenas has 1st year autographed cards in the 2006 Bowman Chrome Draft set as well as Bowman Sterling.  Currently, his chrome autos sell for $23-27 and his Sterlings run for about $12-15.  I think that Cardenas will be a solid player in Oakland’s infield within the next two years, but his offensive numbers will not be as gaudy as they would have been if he had stayed Philly.


Josh Outman

  • What will the A’s do with this guy?  The Phillies seemed to change their plans for Outman this year, converting him into a middle reliever after two very successful seasons as a starter.  Oakland has an embarrassment of pitching riches in their farm system with Gio Gonzalez, Trevor Cahill, Brett Anderson, Andrew Bailey, Fautino De La Santos, and Henry Rodriguez which leads me to believe that Outman will continue in the role that the Phillies have used him this season.  In 33 games this year, Outman has compiled a 5-4 record and has struck out 66 in 70 innings.  He features a 91-94 MPH fastball with a hard low-80’s slider and average changeup.  Outman’s first year cards are in the 2006 Bowman Chrome Prospects set which are selling for less than $1.00 each.  Refractors numbered to 500 sell for $3-4 each which could be a bargain if, for some reason, Oakland decides to make Outman a starter again.


Matt Spencer

  • Spencer is the least known of the three prospects, but his power potential hardly makes him a throw-in.  Drafted in the 3rd round of the 2007 draft out of Arizona State, Spencer is a  6-4 225 lb. left hand hitting right fielder with a cannon arm.  This season, Spencer has hit a mediocre .249 with only 6 HR and 41 RBI in 305 AB’s at High-A Clearwater, but I think his muscular frame and plus athleticism will render more positive results down the road.  Spencer’s first year cards can be found in the 2007 Donruss Elite Extra Edition set with autographs that are numbered to 500 selling for a very reasonable $4-6 each.  I am not sure how Spencer fits into Oakland’s future plans, as they have a wealth of outfielders peppered throughout their system, but I think he is someone to keep an eye on over the next season and a half.


As I said with the Harden trade, the Oakland A’s have the impeccable ability to scout and acquire maximum talent out of each trade they make.  This season has been a huge one for the A’s farm system as trades of Nick Swisher, Dan Haren, Rich Harden, and, now, Joe Blanton have brought a plethora of young talent to Oakland.  I am not sure how the pieces will finally fit, but rest assured, Oakland has set itself up nicely for the long haul.  As for Philly, let’s hope that Blanton regains a glimpse of his 2007 form for the last couple months of the season.


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