Thursday, February 22, 2018
Sports

Dodgers nab Blanton, not as likely to snare Lee

PHILADELPHIA — The Dodgers made attempts to get two Phillies pitchers in hopes of bolstering a postseason run and came away with one on Friday.

RHP Joe Blanton was traded from Philadelphia for a minor-league player to be named later after Los Angeles claimed him on waivers.

The Dodgers were also the mystery team that put in a claim on LHP Cliff Lee, multiple media outlets reported, but it appears he is unlikely to be moved. Lee, the 2008 AL Cy Young winner who is 2-6 with a 3.73 ERA this year, was made available in hopes the Phillies could receive a big package in return, as teams often put players with big contracts on waivers after the trade deadline. If a player is claimed, a trade can be worked out or the team can pull the player back.

Though ESPN.com reported the Phillies pulled Lee back, GM Ruben Amaro would not confirm Lee's status other than to tell the Philadelphia Inquirer, "It is irrelevant because he is not going anywhere."

Blanton will join OF Shane Victorino, who was traded from Philadelphia to Los Angeles on Tuesday. The last-place Phillies also dealt OF Hunter Pence to San Francisco earlier this week.

"It was a little bit of a shock, especially since the trade deadline had passed," Blanton said. "But when you're in trade rumors, you've got to be ready to do whatever. And I was happy if I stayed. At the same time, it will be a new thing, a new adventure to go. And that's always fun."

Blanton, 31, is 8-9 with a 4.59 ERA in 20 starts and one relief appearance. He is making $8.5 million and can become a free agent after the season.

"He's pitched in a tough city like Philadelphia and pitched them to a World Series, so he brings us a quality guy," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "This is a move that makes us a little bit better because it gives our staff a little more depth."

Damon Cut: OF Johnny Damon, 38, was designated for assignment by the Indians after hitting .222 with four homers. A Ray last year, Damon needs 231 hits to reach 3,000 after also playing for the A's, Royals, Red Sox, Yankees and Tigers. Cleveland has 10 days to trade or release him.

Hamilton's bad habits: Attempting to clarify recent comments that he still had issues, slumping Rangers OF Josh Hamilton, whose past includes struggles with drugs and alcohol, said the trouble is discipline. "Professionally, it's been plate discipline. Personally, it's been being obedient to the Lord in quitting chewing tobacco," he said.

Ripken Kidnapping: Saying "it's bizarre in many ways," Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr. told reporters his family and Aberdeen, Md., police still are searching for answers about the kidnapping of his mother last week. The former Orioles infielder doesn't know why his 74-year-old mother, Vi, was kidnapped at gunpoint, blindfolded and driven around for nearly 24 hours. She was found unharmed in her car early the next morning near her home. No arrests have been made. "Mom, by and large, is a tough, strong woman. She's been able to endure this," Ripken said.

Astros: RHP Francisco Cordero went on the DL with an inflamed right big toe.

Nationals: The team acquired C Kurt Suzuki from the A's for minor-league C David Freitas.

Red Sox: RHP Josh Beckett (back spasms) will skip his Sunday start, but the team has no plans to put him in the DL. LHP Franklin Morales will get the start. … After criticizing manager Bobby Valentine earlier in the day, former pitcher Curt Schilling received a standing ovation from fans when he was inducted into the team's Hall of Fame. On the radio, Schilling predicted Valentine's reign as manager will end like "Mount Vesuvius."

White Sox: LHP Chris Sale, who skipped a start with arm fatigue, is set to pitch Monday.

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