Joe Blanton has agreed to a one-year, $4 million deal with the Dodgers.
If you'd told me two years ago that someday I would find myself wishing the Pirates had re-signed Joe Blanton, I'd never have believed you, but here we are. Blanton's career was in tatters in 2013 and he didn't even pitch in the majors in 2014, but he was pretty good for the Royals to start the 2015 season and even better after Kansas City essentially gave his rights to the Bucs -- he emerged as a key part of the Pirates' bullpen during their 2015 stretch run, valuable for his ability to pitch multiple innings and pitch them very, very well. He actually looked like the same generic pitcher he's always kind of been -- call him Joe Blandton. But suddenly his results were much, much better, thanks mostly to a career-best strikeout rate.
For $4 million, it would have been nice to see Blanton back in Pittsburgh, and I'd rather have him than Neftali Feliz at a similar price. But that's why I'm not making the decisions. Anyway, congratulations to Blanton for getting his career back on track, and I wish him luck in Los Angeles.