Originally posted on The Outside Corner  |  Last updated 7/30/12

Late last night, news of a potential trade between the Phillies and Giants for right fielder Hunter Pence popped up. That trade is still up in the air, but the Phillies fire sale may be ramped up to a new level today, with starting pitchers Joe Blanton and Cliff Lee apparently in play.

Blanton's main suitor is apparently the Baltimore Orioles, with the Cardinals and Blue Jays showing interest, but not on the level of Baltimore. Britt Ghiroli of MLB.com is reporting that the Phillies are looking for "a major league ready utility infielder or a prospect who could be a viable middle reliever" for Blanton, which is far, far lower than the bounty that the Angels dealt for Zack Greinke, and a much more reasonable price for a team like the Orioles, who really aren't contenders but could get the fanbase happy with a deal at the deadline, much like the Pirates did last year by picking up Derrek Lee and Ryan Ludwick.

A utility infielder or a middle reliever would also benefit the Orioles getting help in their rotation without touching top prospects Dylan Bundy, Manny Machado, and Jonathan Schoop. Despite Blanton's 4.59 ERA, he has a 6.39 strikeout to walk ratio (the second best mark in all of baseball), and he eats innings like Pac-Man eats dots. Baltimore's rotation has struggled immensely this year (aside from Wei-Yin Chen and the currently injured Jason Hammel), and a veteran like Blanton could help a lot.

As for Lee, the Phillies' sweep in Atlanta this weekend apaprently put him on the market. The front runner (once again) is the Rangers, who Lee played for in the second half of the 2010 season. There are a few factors that separate Lee in 2010 from Lee in 2012. One, the massive contract he's currently signed to. Lee will make $75 mllion from 2013 to 2015, and has a $27.5 million option for 2016 with a $12.5 million buyout. When Lee was traded three times between 2009 and 2010, he made a total of just $14.75 million over those two years. If the Phillies wish to pass Lee's entire contract onto the Rangers, they're not going to get much of a return at all. Hell, they got a package of garbage when they dealt him to the Mariners following the 2009 season, and he was only making $9 million that year. If the Phillies want any sort of significant return for Lee, they're going to need to eat a substantial portion of his salary, otherwise they're not going to get much of anything in return. Phillies fans are salivating over Rangers masher Mike Olt, and they're only going to sniff Olt if Ruben Amaro offers to pick up at least $40 million of Lee's remaining contract.

Despite his 1-6 record and 3.95 ERA, Lee is still a top-tier pitcher. His strikeout and walk rates are still elite, and he's been doomed overall by a rough time at Citizens Bank Park, where his ERA is a run higher than on the road. But then again, going to the Rangers isn't exactly going to help his home/road splits, because the Ballpark at Arlington is one of the most hitter friendly parks in the league. Texas could definitely use a pitcher of Lee's caliber with the rash of injuries they've suffered in their rotation lately, and someone like Lee was fit the bill to solidify their starting five.

Photos courtesy of Daylife.com

[follow]

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Ohio State DL Dylan Thompson ineligible for season

Roger Federer will miss Olympics, U.S. Open with knee injury

Report: Seahawks extend Pete Carroll through 2019

LSU kicker Colby Delahoussaye releases first statement following car crash

Report: Brock Osweiler could have made more money staying with Broncos

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Andrew Luck: Feels `as good as I've ever felt` for training camp

Amar'e Stoudemire announces retirement after signing one-day contract with Knicks

Report: Gregory failed multiple drug tests since suspension

Olympian Abby Johnston: Worst thing about Olympic village is no Pokemon

Reggie Bush reportedly closing in on contract with Bills

Report: Eric Berry planning to no-show training camp

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

Report: Paul Pierce to return to Clippers

Jimbo Fisher: You come to FSU to win national championships

Andre Johnson worked out for Tennessee Titans

Shattenkirk for Krejci trade rumor still floating around

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman denies link to C.T.E.

Michael Vick: Cam Newton can’t beat me in 40-yard dash

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

Odell Beckham Jr. says Giants will play in Super Bowl LI

Iowa researchers say they can optimize Monday Night Football ratings with scheduling

Terrelle Pryor can visit Ohio State as five-year ban comes to a close

Rudy Gay admits to having ‘no idea’ about what the Kings are doing

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker