“Eyes-Closed Joe” Signs Extension

Phillies avoid arbitration, ink $24 million contract extension with Blanton

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The Phillies avoided arbitration with another player Thursday when they signed starting pitcher Joe Blanton to a three-year, $24 million contract extension.

The signing came two days after the Phightins signed Chad Durbin to a one-year deal to avoid arbitration. By inking Blanton to a three-year deal the Phillies bought out his final year of arbitration at $8 million a year -- Blanton was seeking $10.25 million for this season, according to MLB.com.

Blanton should enter the season as a solid No. 3 starter.

The 29-year-old Kentuckian came to the Phillies in July 2008. He has gone 16-8 with a 4.09 ERA and 212 strikeouts in 266 innings since joining the Phils.

The burly righty is a proven innings eater pitching more than 194 innings a season since becoming a full-time starter with the 2005 Oakland A’s.

Despite everything he has done on the mound, Blanton is most remembered for his apparently eye-closed homer in Game 4 of the 2008 World Series.

Shane Victorino and Carlos Ruiz are the only two remaining arbitration-eligible Phillies.

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