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Reports Of Joe Blanton To Red Sox Swirl After Phillies Sign Cliff Lee

Late Monday night, in a shocking twist, the Philadelphia Phillies signed Cliff Lee to five-year deal, giving them one of the baseball's top rotations (if not the best). As a result, Joe Blanton may be on his way to join the Boston Red Sox.

According to Sports Illustrated's Jon Heyman, the Phillies have "a deal in place" to ship Blanton to the Red Sox (Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal tweeted earlier Tuesday morning that the "Phillies were deep in discussions yesterday about sending Blanton to RedSox"). 

As quickly as that report surfaced, however, WEEI's Rob Bradford shot it down, citing "two major league sources familiar with the situation" who told him "no agreement has been finalized." ESPN Boston's Gordon Edes added that the reports a deal was done are "not true."

Blanton, who made 28 starts for Philadelphia in 2010, would be a salary dump move for Philadelphia -- the 30-year-old right-hander is due to make $8.5 million in both 2011 and 2012.

Blanton was 9-6 with a 4.82 ERA in 2010, with an ERA+ of 99. 

A move to Boston would be surprising -- not only have they already taken on a lot of salary this offseason in the form of Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford, but they also already have starting pitchers Jon Lester, John Lackey, Clay Buchholz, Daisuke Matsuzaka and Josh Beckett, with Tim Wakefield still under contract.