The Los Angeles Angels released right-handed pitcher Joe Blanton on Wednesday. It was an uncondtional release.
Blanton, 33, signed a two-year, $15 million deal with the Angels before the 2013 season. He has money that is owed to him by the Angels despite being released. The Angels will absorb his contract and pay him $7.5 million this year. They will also pay him another $1 million to buyout the $8 million club option for next year, according to the Associated Press.
The Angels thought that Blanton would be an effective pitcher who could get through innings quickly. However he has struggled. Last year he went 2-14 with a 6.04 ERA and 29 homeruns allowed, according to the Los Angeles Times. In late July he was demoted to the bullpen as a result of the poor performance. This spring hasn’t been better for Blanton. In five games this spring he has a .708 ERA in 20 and a third innings.
The Angels had tried to trade Blanton, but there were no takers. With Blanton gone the Angels now have 39 players on their roster. Jered Weaver, C.J. Wilson, Garrett Richards, Hector Santiago, and Tyler Skaggs will be the Angels starting rotation. It will be interesting to see if Blanton signs with another team as he has struggled. If he does sign with another team, then they would only have to pay him a prorated portion of the major league minimum salary of $500,000.