All four Phillies starters are coming back next season.

 

The team and Joe Blanton avoided arbitration on Thursday, agreeing on a three-year, $24 million contract. The 29-year-old righty could’ve waited another year to test free agency, but chose to remain in red pinstripes.

 

“When you get to the free-agent market, you want to go to a team that wins,” Blanton said. “I feel like if you want to win, this is where you go. And I was already here, so I wanted to stay.”

 

Blanton went 12-8 with a 4.05 ERA in 31 starts for the Phillies last season. General manager Ruben Amaro, Jr. said he’s been impressed with the pitcher’s durability. Blanton has never been on the disabled list and is one of only 16 pitchers in the majors that has thrown more than 1,000 innings in the past five seasons.

 

“There are no absolutes in this game. That doesn't exist,” Amaro said. “The fact of the matter is that Joe has been as consistent a guy as there is in our rotation.”