The interest in Frankie Montas has created a lot of attention over the last few weeks, with many expecting a trade by the deadline. There have also been under-the-radar rumors floating around about Paul Blackburn.
While not the biggest name, teams looking for a deep playoff run could bolster their pitching with Blackburn, who has been one of Oakland’s more solid pieces.
Blackburn is under team control for the next three years while Montas becomes a free agent after 2023. Although Blackburn is a less flashy trade than Montas, his value, youth, and control are lucrative for both sides.
Let’s get into it.
Yankees need to strengthen their rotation
Yes, the Yankees are one of the hottest teams in baseball. However, their slight second-half skid may prove catastrophic in the postseason.
Domingo German, in his return to the rotation, has not been a reliable arm. His last two starts were hot and cold. His previous playoff appearances were not the lights out performances that a team needs to win it all.
Yankees phenom reliever, Michael King, went down with a season-ending elbow fracture. Who knows how long he’ll be out and whether the other relievers can pick up the slack.
With Blackburn’s repertoire, he could potentially fill both spots. Adding another ace-like starter with electric breaking pitches over German could give them an edge in the postseason. Blackburn also has the experience and ability to calm under pressure, already proving that even on an imploding team he can still bring it.
Braves looking to add a reliable starter
Right now, the conversation around Atlanta’s starting pitching is dominated by Ian Anderson and the rookie, Spencer Strider. That’s it. Adding Blackburn to the rotation would create a core of young pitchers that could boost the Brave’s second-half push to try and take back the NL East.
Further, they have a some pitching prospects down in the minors that the A’s could cultivate and use a few years down the road.
Orioles could use a controllable pitcher
Currently, Baltimore’s pitching prospects are practically nil. Blackburn, still under team control, may be what they need over the next few years. Specifically, with the Orioles showing signs of life, Blackburn could propel their momentum in the coming seasons.
And, in return, the A’s could benefit from a veteran presence. Rumors of Trey Mancini on the trading block have been swirling. Perhaps he can be a similar spark to the A’s offense for the remainder of the season.
Could Paul Blackburn be gone after the deadline?
I, of course, don’t want to see him leave. He’s a constant in a sea of A’s uncertainty and a youthful, dominant starter. If it did happen, a Paul Blackburn trade should demand prospects who can help this team build for the seasons to come.