About 16 months after he signed Joe Blanton to a two-year $15 million deal, Jerry Dipoto cut his – and the Angels’ – losses.
The Angels general manager released the embattled right-hander on Wednesday morning, a quick and somewhat predictable end to his tenure with the club.
“It’s regrettable,” Dipoto said. “It’s a mistake on my part. There is no one else to blame. I made the call on signing Joe Blanton and bringing him in. Obviously, this isn’t the way he wanted it to work out. It’s not the way I wanted it to work out.”
Blanton went 2-14 with a 6.04 ERA in 2013, the worst season of his nine-year career. Despite better conditioning and numerous changes to his delivery, Blanton had a 7.08 ERA this spring.
“Coming to spring training, we just wanted to see some adjustment, some type of move forward, an improvement in performance that led us to believe something better was coming,” Dipoto said. “We just didn’t see that.”
The Angels delivered the news to Blanton on the day of their final Cactus League game, and he was gone from the clubhouse before the Angels announced the transaction. Blanton did not immediately reply to messages.
Manager Mike Scioscia said Blanton “understands” why it came to this.
"We've all been in this together with Joe the last year," Scioscia said. "We all shared the frustration. There is not a guy in that clubhouse that works harder than Joe in trying to improve and keeping himself in shape. It's unfortunate that the results of his hard work didn’t translate last year into production."
Dipoto also had some emphathy for the criticism that Blanton endured.