The Los Angeles Angels struggled to a disastrous 78-84 record in 2013 despite a massive payroll, and one of their major struggles came in the starting pitching department. With that said, the team has decided to release veteran right-hander Joe Blanton on Wednesday, and that tells you everything you need to know about “the Joe Blanton era” in Los Angeles.
Today the #Angels granted RHP Joe Blanton his unconditional release.
— Los Angeles Angels (@Angels) March 26, 2014
Blanton famously signed a 2-year, $15 million contract prior to the 2013 season, but his performance was woeful to the tune of a 6.15 ERA and 1.97 home runs allowed per 9 innings in 28 appearances (20 starts), and that was enough for the Angels to throw up their hands. In doing so, the team is basically paying Blanton $8.5 million to go away ($7.5 million in 2014 salary and $1 million to buy out an option), and with the state of their pitching, it is a true indictment on his skill set.
The 33-year-old Blanton has been a quality innings-eater in the past, but something went terribly wrong in Los Angeles, and it was time for the two parties to go their separate ways. The Angels are still hamstrung in the rotation, but if all goes right (and healthy), they could be in the mix for the AL West, while Blanton will be looking for employment (possibly on a minor league deal) elsewhere in the near future.