Blanton won’t be coming back
In 2016 the Dodgers effectively traded Juan Nicasio for Joe Blanton with mixed results. Sure they weren’t traded for each other, but in two separate transactions, it was basically a swapping of relief assets.
Dodgers allowed Juan Nicasio to leave as a free agent who was signed by the Pirates to a two-year deal for $6.6M.
Pirates allowed Joe Blanton to leave as a free agent, and he was signed by the Dodgers to a one-year deal for $4M.
Joe Blanton did good work for the Dodgers but not great work. His 2015 season with the Pirates was elite, his 2016 work for the Dodgers was average. Joe Blanton was either not pursued by the Dodgers this offseason or was asking for too much money or years. Either way, Joe Blanton just signed with the Nationals for one year for $4m.
In retrospect, I think the Dodgers would have been better off keeping Nicasio who had his best season skill wise in 2016. Nicasio started off as a beast last spring and parlayed that into a spot in the Pirate rotation. That didn’t last long but when Nicasio was moved to the bullpen he excelled. From the point Nicasio was moved to the bullpen on June 26th he did the following:
54 IP, 50 hits, 75 K’s, 18 walks, 2.96 ERA, 3.03 xFIP, 31% K rate
Maybe Nicasio doesn’t hang a slider to Montero?
He’s no Romo but he’s also still only 30 and might have been a better fit for this team than Romo and his declining velocity.
Anyway, Blanton be gone and won’t be coming back.