The Oakland Athletics have brought back a familiar face.
The Sacramento River Cats provide the details, via the club’s Twitter account.
The @Athletics have signed Joe Blanton to a minor league deal. He will join the River Cats starting rotation.
— River Cats (@RiverCats) March 31, 2014
Joe Blanton was released by the Los Angeles Angels last week after posting a 7.08 ERA in five games including four starts in Cactus League play. Last season, the 10-year veteran lost his spot in the Angels rotation and finished the season with a 2-14 record and a 6.04 ERA.
The 33-year-old right-hander hasn’t enjoyed much success since the Athletics traded him to the Philadelphia Phillies in July of 2008—although he did win a World Series ring in his first season in Philadelphia. In parts of five seasons in Oakland, Blanton went 47-46 with a 4.25 ERA in 122 games (118 starts).
There’s almost no downside to the move, as the Athletics would only be on the hook for the prorated major league minimum salary should Blanton eventually make his way to the O.co Coliseum. The Angels are responsible for the rest of the starter’s $8.5 million salary in 2014.
The signing of Blanton provides the team with valuable depth, especially considering the fact that Jarrod Parker will miss all of the 2014 season and A.J. Griffin’s status is still very much up in the air.