Busy A’s Send Jerry Blevins To Washington For Prospect

by Jason Leary | Posted on Wednesday, December 11th, 2013
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Left-handed reliever Jerry Blevins is heading from Oakland to the Washington Nationals after yet another trade by the busy A’s.

Left-handed reliever Jerry Blevins is heading from Oakland to the Washington Nationals after yet another trade by the busy A’s.

Another day, another deal for the hyperactive  Oakland A’s. This time it’s left-handed reliever Jerry Blevins hitting the road to join the Washington Nationals‘ bullpen in exchange for minor league outfielder Billy Burns.

Oakland’s trade for fellow left-handed reliever Fernando Abad last month probably helped make Blevins expendable. Abad is younger and cheaper than Blevins which is always an attractive combination to the small-budget A’s.

The A’s recently acquired Abad from the Nationals for minor league outfielder John Wooten. In a roundabout way, Beane ended up swapping Blevins and Wooten for Abad and Burns. I have no idea why this trade had to be worked out in two parts over the course of a few weeks. I guess that’s just how Beane and Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo roll.

It seems like Beane and Rizzo can’t stop doing business with each other because this marks their second trade in less than a month along with the two Kurt Suzuki deals and the big Gio Gonzalez trade. These  just to a few of the transactions they’ve worked out over the past few years.

The theme of Beane’s two most recent trades seems to be, “Clear payroll, add minor league talent.”

On the clear payroll side of things, ditching Brett Anderson‘s $8 million price tag for 2014 yesterday and erasing Blevins’ $1 million-plus salary off the books for next season just about covers the cost of recently acquired closer Jim Johnson. His projected 2014 salary is expected to be in excess of $10 million.

On the minor league talent side of things, Burns reportedly brings plenty of speed, defense and on-base skills to the table. According to Oakland Clubhouse’s Melissa Lockard, Burns, 24, was Washington’s minor league player of the year last season. Lockard reports that Burns hit .315 with a .425 OBP and 74 steals in 81 attempts in 2013.

All in all, not a bad “get” for a 30-year-old LOOGY like Blevins. The lanky left-hander departs Oakland with a 3.30 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 13-6 record and 34 holds since 2007. Blevins held left-handed batters to a .636 OPS during his career with the A’s.

Speaking of a decent “get,” Blevins should take a bow for delivering nice value as a fringe prospect acquired from the Cubs in the 2007 trade that sent Jason Kendall from Oakland to Chicago. Blevins turned out to be a very good return on the Kendall salary dump.

The A’s 2014 roster continues to take shape. As this busy winter rolls along and with Blevins Washington-bound the battle to be manager Bob Melvin‘s designated LOOGY next year appears to be down to Abad, Pedro Figueroa and possibly yesterday’s trade acquisition Drew Pomeranz.

That’s assuming Beane doesn’t make another trade in the next few minutes. Which might be asking for a lot in this offseason of neverending moves by Oakland.

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Jason Leary
About the Author

Jason Leary is a lifelong, die-hard A's fan and busy father of two who blogs about baseball in those rare moments when he isn't chasing his kids around. Follow and interact with Jason on Twitter @JasonALeary or check out his blog at junkball.wordpress.com.

  • Eugene in Oregon

    “I have no idea why this trade had to be worked out in two parts over the course of a few weeks…”
    The trade had to be worked out in two parts, as it were, because Fernando Abad had been DFA’d by the Nats, thus they had to make that move quickly, getting the marginal prospect (no offense intended) from the A’s or giving him up for nothing. At the time, the Nats were still seeking — or at least kicking the tires on — various free agent LH relievers. It seems that the deal for Jerry Blevins emerged once Mike Rizzo became convinced he wasn’t going to get J.P. Howell or Eric O’Flaherty (sp?) or another LHR.

    • Great point Eugene, thanks. It’s been such a crazy whirlwind of moves for the A’s over the past few weeks that I lost track of the fact that Abad was DFA’ed and the Nats had to pull the trigger ASAP to squeeze at least a little bit of value out of him. I’m going to assume that Blevins’ projected raise in arbitration plus Burns’ inclusion in the trade fit Washington’s 2014 payroll and long-term game plan better than what veteran free-agent LOOGYs are asking for at this point in the offseason. The Blevins-Burns deal is a minor trade, but it looks like it’s a win-win move for what each club is trying to accomplish right now and for the next couple of years.

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