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The Template?

The A's are considering trading Joe Blanton. Because Blanton is three-plus seasons from free agency, the A's are reportedly asking for three top-flight prospects, with the Dodgers being the team linked to the deal.

Blanton will be a free agent: after 2010
Lowry will be a free agent: after 2010 (if $6.25M option is picked up)

Blanton's career ERA - 4.05 (ERA+ of 109)
Lowry's career ERA - 3.92 (ERA+ of 110)

Blanton's 2007 ERA - 3.69 (ERA+ of 118)
Lowry's 2007 ERA - 3.40 (ERA+ of 127)

Blanton's career K/9 - 5.21
Lowry's career K/9 - 6.22

Blanton's 2007 K/9 - 5.49
Lowry's 2007 K/9 - 5.24

Blanton's age - 26
Lowry's age - 26

Blanton's career WHIP - 1.31
Lowry's career WHIP - 1.35

Blanton's 2007 WHIP - 1.17
Lowry's 2007 WHIP - ...uh, that's not really relevant. Ahem. (1.43)

The last category is where Blanton has it all over Lowry this season, as Blanton has been a strike-throwing monster and Lowry's been allowing way too many walks. Other than that, it would be impossible to find a closer comparison for Noah Lowry's trade value. It's amazing that such a close comparable to Lowry rumored to go in the exact kind of trade many folks think the Giants should make. If Blanton is traded, it will be fascinating to see what the A's get in return.

Difficulty: There's only one Ned Colletti. Just because the A's will get Matt Kemp, Clayton Kershaw, Andre Ethier, a crime-solving robot, and $500,000 in Trader Joe's gift cards doesn't mean the Giants would get a package half as nice.

Random note: Lowry currently has the 10th-best ERA in the NL. I had no idea....