Phillies righthander Joe Blanton, who signed a 3-year, $24 million contract extension Thursday, spoke about his deal at a news conference: "They came at me with the prospect of going long-term. I was thrilled. I've enjoyed my time here in the past year-and-a-half. I just feel the organization has gotten better and better.
"When you hit free agency, you want to go to a winner. I'm already with a winner, so I was thrilled."
General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said about the signing: "It was important for us to continue a pretty good trend. We like to keep our players in the system. Joe has been outstanding. He has been one of the most consistent pitchers in baseball."
Was extending Blanton the right move?
Blanton, 29, went 12-8 with a 4.05 ERA in 31 starts last season and made four appearances (two starts) in the postseason. He was arbitration-eligible. In 44 regular-season starts for the Phillies over the past two seasons, he is 16-8 with a 4.09 ERA and the team is 26-18 (.591) in those games. He pitched at least 6.0 innings in 29 of those 44 starts.
The Phillies have two arbitration-eligible players remaining: catcher Carlos Ruiz and centerfielder Shane Victorino.
Breaking news from South Philly. . .
The Phillies have agreed to a three-year, $24 million deal with veteran righthander Joe Blanton, avoiding arbitration and keeping him in the fold through 2012.
The move could usher in a unique era of rotation stability, as the top four members of the rotation -- Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels, J.A. Happ and Blanton -- are now all under club control through at least the 2012 season.
Blanton had requested $10.25 million in arbitration, while the Phillies had offered $7.5 million.
A press conference is scheduled for 5 p.m.