By Sean McAdam
Overnight talk of a deal that would send pitcher Joe Blanton to the Red Sox appears to be grossly overstated.
A source familiar with the discussions betweenthe Phillies and Red Sox said Tuesday that the Monday talks neverprogressed to the pointwhere the clubs exchanged potential names from the Red Sox organization.
While numerous reports had Blanton heading to the Sox, a source familiar with the talks dismissed that out of hand.
"(I) don't know where this is coming from,'' said the source.
Sources confirm that the Phillies called the Red Sox Monday in an attempt to move Blanton and his remaining 17 million in salary, helping to clear the way for the signing of free agent Cliff Lee.
Readying to land Lee for five years, 120 million the Phils were desperate to shed salary. Blanton is scheduled to make 17 million over the next two seasons.
Naturally, the Phils called some big-market teams to determine interest in Blanton and, sources said, the Phils and Red Sox talked twice Monday regarding Blanton.
But failing to have a deal in place to move Daisuke Matsuzaka elsewhere, acquiring Blanton never made much sense for the Red Sox.
The Sox could use some starting pitching depth, with their reserve options down to 46-year-old Tim Wakefield. Junichi Tazawa is recovering from Tommy John surgery and may not be ready to start the year and Felix Doubront is, for now, ticketed for the bullpen.
Still, Blanton's 8.5 million was high for a "depth'' starter. The Red Sox weren't about to take on that kind of money and then have Blanton as a swingman, waiting around in case someone in the rotation went down with an injury or failed to perform.
Blanton, who just turned 30, was 9-6 with a 4.81 ERA in Philadelphia last year. Lifetime, he's a 72-60 with a 4.13. His best season was 2007 when he won 14 games and posted a 3.30 for Oakland. He pitched 4 12 season for the A's, working with current Red Sox pitching coach Curt Young, then the A's pitching coach.