Kendrick, Blanton and The Biggest HD Screen in  Town

19 Jan

kendrick.jpgThe Phillies and Kyle Kendrick avoided arbitration yesterday when the agreed to a one-year, $2.45 million dollar deal.  Kendrick was the Phillies only remaining arbitration eligible player.  So does this deal mean that Kendrick is going to be the 5th starter?  Well, no it doesn’t because another interesting bit of news came up yesterday when Ruben Amaro Jr. was asked a few questions about this upcoming season.  Ruben was asked if he expected Joe Blanton to be with the Phillies this season.  His answer?  “I expect that to happen.” 

So will Big Joe be back with the Phillies this Spring?  It seems pretty likely now because the market for him has thinned, and they really wouldn’t get full value for him at this point.  It’s more likely that the Phillies will roll into Spring Training with 6 starters in tow. It probably won’t be much of a competition as long as everyone is healthy.  If that were the case my guess is that Kendrick would take the place of Chad Durbin and fill the long-man in the bullpen as Durbin returning seems pretty unlikely.  They certainly have some options.

So now we’re not trading Blanton?  Well, I wouldn’t be so sure of that.  I think that the Phillies have come to the realization that if they tried to dish Joe now they wouldn’t get his full worth.  I’m sure that a few teams have kicked his tires, but the Phillies won’t do anything they don’t have to.  They could use some payroll flexibility, but it’s not like they need to do anything in desperation.  I’m sure if things are going well at the trade deadline in August the Phillies will dangle him out there again.

sboard.jpgMost everyone knew about this before, but the Phillies are making some technology upgrades around Citizens Bank Park.  They are upgrading their score board to a 7,372 square foot high definition screen.  It’s the largest screen in the National League and one of the largest in the country. This screen is nearly three times the size of the one it’s replacing.  The Phillies are also installing all new HD TVs in and around the ballpark.  These upgrades are expected to be completed by the start of the season. 

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