The Winter Meetings opened today in Indianapolis and a rumor began circulating that the Phillies were dangling starting pitcher Joe Blanton as trade bait. I hope this rumor isn't true. Joe anchored the rotation throughout 2009 when the team needed a steady starter. He took the ball every fifth day and 68% (21 of 31) of his starts last year were quality starts - he pitched at least 6 innings, allowing 3 or fewer runs, leading the team in this category. Since the team's two remaining needs are a 5th starter and bullpen help, I can't imagine why the Phillies would be willing to give up Blanton. Unless of course Blanton is heading to the Blue Jays in a package for Roy Halladay - then I'm intrigued.
Pat the Met?: Another rumor which appears to have been shot down involved a proposed three team trade in which Milton Bradley would go to the Rays, Pat Burrell would go to the Mets and Luis Castillo would go to the Cubs.
Odds and Ends: Geoff Jenkins has been working out and would like to make a 2010 comeback . . . Just about every Phillies rumor I've read so far involves Tigers relief pitcher Brandon Lyon. Lyon saved 26 games in 2008 with the Diamondbacks . . . Talks with free agent relief pitchers Chan Ho Park and Scott Eyre are going very slowly . . . The Phillies were named by Baseball America as the 2009 Organization of the Year. Very cool.