Busy A’s Send Jerry Blevins To Washington For Prospect
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.