Nationals Acquire Jerry Blevins

The Nationals have acquired Jerry Blevins from the Athletics, according to Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish (on Twitter). Oakland will receive outfield prospect Billy Burns in return, reports Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports (via Twitter).

The Nationals have been known to be actively seeking a left-handed reliever, and Blevins fills that need for GM Mike Rizzo. Blevins, 30, is coming off a pair of strong seasons in which he posted a 2.80 ERA with 7.6 K/9 and 3.0 BB/9 in 125 1/3 innings.

Even better for the Nats, he will cost far less than a comparable player on the free agent market: MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz projects that Blevins will earn just $1.5MM in his second (and second-to-last) season through arbitration. Other well-regarded lefties have cost a good deal more: Javier Lopez got three years and $13MM, while Manny Parra got two and $5.5MM. The move should take the Nationals out of the market for higher-end southpaw relievers, though the club could still look to add a few budget options to compete in Spring Training.

Meanwhile, Burns is an interesting player whose value has been on the way up after a 2013 season that resulted in his being named the organization's minor leaguer of the year. Splitting time between High-A and Double-A in his age-23 campaign, the center fielder swiped a total of 74 bags while getting on base at quite an impressive clip. (His triple-slash landed at .315/.425/.383 in 540 plate appearances, 138 of which came at the Double-A level.) Baseball America credited him with the best strike zone discipline and speed in the Nats' system.

For the Nats, however, Burns lacked a clear path through the minor league system, let alone to the MLB roster. Denard Span is still under team control through 2015. More importantly, the club possesses a series of speedy, well-regarded prospects who are capable of fielding up the middle in Brian Goodwin, Michael Taylor, and Eury Perez

Jeff Todd contributed to this post.


73 Responses to Nationals Acquire Jerry Blevins Leave a Reply

  1. Danny Phillips 2 years ago

    Rizzo and Beane sitting in a tree

  2. David 2 years ago

    Not a huge fan of giving up Burns. Oh well.

    • scottedgell2 2 years ago

      I am a huge Burns fan too seeing in play at Prince William a number of times and watching his speed, and how well he runs the bases. Having said that, we needed a lefty out of the pen badly and Blevins fills that role nicely. Burns was not going to be up with the Nationals parent club 3 years minimum and we needed help now and got help cheaply. I think Rizzo made a decent trade.

  3. agureghian 2 years ago

    Josh Hamilton approves of this deal.

    • BaMafromLa 2 years ago

      1 for 11 in career with 7 strikeouts… definitely.

    • BaMafromLa 2 years ago

      1 for 11 in career with 7 strikeouts… definitely.

  4. TommyL 2 years ago

    And Jerry Mathers as the Blevin.

  5. TommyL 2 years ago

    And Jerry Mathers as the Blevin.

  6. Skeeb Wilcox 2 years ago

    Jerry Blevins is THE best left handed reliever in the DMB league I’m in. As long as he don’t hurt the Bucs in “real life”…

    • Lee Foo Young 2 years ago

      You get a like just for the DMB mention. I wonder if they invent a ‘Super DuperFast’ rating for Burns?

      Gosh, is he fast. I saw him at Harrisburg.

  7. bhambravesfan 2 years ago

    Hope this mean Eric O’Flaherty is staying in ATL

  8. bhambravesfan 2 years ago

    Hope this mean Eric O’Flaherty is staying in ATL

  9. Kenz 2 years ago

    Fleeced. A legit outfield prospect for a run of the mill lefty reliever?

    • David 2 years ago

      Burns isn’t really a legit prospect, he has plenty of question marks. His one tool: he is FAST.

      • harperhill 2 years ago

        Don’t forget about the career .421 OBP in the minors

        • Danny Phillips 2 years ago

          He was a 24 year old at low and high A

          • jpshark 2 years ago

            He played at AA as well last year. About age appropriate for the league, maybe a touch old. People keep slamming his lack of power, but what does it matter if he plays plus defense in CF and turns into a .285/.390/.375 hitter with 50 steals a season? That would make him a ~4 WAR type leadoff man. This was a great get for Oakland.

          • Danny Phillips 2 years ago

            Good points. Regardless, Burns is blocked at the major league level as well as by 3 superior CF prospects in the Nats system.

          • FamousGrouse 2 years ago

            “plus defense in CF and turns into a .285/.390/.375 hitter with 50 steals a season?”
            That would make him one of the best players in baseball. And 4 WAR? Its all just really, really unlikely. Really unlikely. Power matters quite a bit and without it outfields can cheat in and take away XBHs. Defenses are savvy enough to control guys like Dee Gordon these days.

      • Mr Pike 2 years ago

        Nats minor league player of the year isn’t a legit prospect?

      • George Vander Buist 2 years ago

        I wouldn’t say “plenty of question marks” Just lacks any power.. otherwise, hit tool, batting eye and speed are all looking like plus tools, just don’t know a lot about his defence. Baseball America writer theorized that Burns was thought of as special in the organization and had a legit shot (if route was available) to succeed as Nationals leadoff hitter some day

    • David 2 years ago

      Burns isn’t really a legit prospect, he has plenty of question marks. His one tool: he is FAST.

  10. Kenz 2 years ago

    Fleeced. A legit outfield prospect for a run of the mill lefty reliever?

  11. wade3061 2 years ago

    See ya Jerry. It sure was frustrating watching you bounce back and forth between Sacramento and Oakland a few years back, but you sure had a good year in 2012. The game in Anaheim when you saved Balfour’s behind was something I’ll remember for a while.

    I’m happy that the A’s got someone who looks to have at least some employable Major League skill for a guy that was a potential non-tender candidate according to MLBTR.

    • OaklandFan22 2 years ago

      I still remember that game too. That was awesome.

  12. wade3061 2 years ago

    See ya Jerry. It sure was frustrating watching you bounce back and forth between Sacramento and Oakland a few years back, but you sure had a good year in 2012. The game in Anaheim when you saved Balfour’s behind was something I’ll remember for a while.

    I’m happy that the A’s got someone who looks to have at least some employable Major League skill for a guy that was a potential non-tender candidate according to MLBTR.

  13. AndyWarpath 2 years ago

    I don’t understand the desire to trade for relievers (Blevins, Johnson, Bell, etc) and give up prospects when it appears that the free agent market is so flush with alternative/superior options.

    • The_Porcupine 2 years ago

      Free agent contracts for non-closers have gone through the roof in the last year or 2. It’s financially cheaper to make a trade.

      • AndyWarpath 2 years ago

        supply has brought down the demand and the asking price. Guys like Eric O Flaherty, JP Howell, and Jesse Crain are going to sign for totally reasonable contracts IMO.

  14. AndyWarpath 2 years ago

    I don’t understand the desire to trade for relievers (Blevins, Johnson, Bell, etc) and give up prospects when it appears that the free agent market is so flush with alternative/superior options.

  15. OaklandFan22 2 years ago

    im fine with this. Best of luck in Washington Jerry!

  16. OaklandFan22 2 years ago

    im fine with this. Best of luck in Washington Jerry!

  17. Danny Phillips 2 years ago

    Unsure how to feel about this. Granted I don’t know much about Blevins. But getting rid of Burns when we could have just signed a Howell doesn’t make sense to me.

    • FS54 2 years ago

      I am in this camp too.

    • Natsfan89 2 years ago

      I’m fine with it. Knowing that Rizzo doesn’t like to spend money on relievers (Soriano notwithstanding) and with Goodwin close Burns was expendable. Nats get a lefty who did well against rightys last year who’s cheap and under control for the next to years, A’s get a prospect with upside. Good deal for both clubs.

      That said, I would still like to see them either sign another lefty or send out some spring training invites cause as it stand the leftys coming to ST are Blevins, Cedeno (I’m assuming) and maybe Solis.

      • Danny Phillips 2 years ago

        I’ve changed my tune. I agree that it’s a good deal for both sides. You forgot Detwiler as an option for the pen..

        • Natsfan89 2 years ago

          I know that Det’s an option but, and this is coming from someone who found him incredibly frustrating to watch in 2012, the dude deserves to be in the rotation. I know he’s better suited to come out of the pen with him throwing practically nothing but fastballs, but he’s shown he’s a capable starter and the guy has done everything asked of him up to this point.

      • Danny Phillips 2 years ago

        I’ve changed my tune. I agree that it’s a good deal for both sides. You forgot Detwiler as an option for the pen..

  18. bhambravesfan 2 years ago

    If I were the A’s I would be happy with the upside of a future lead off guy for a reliever.

  19. bhambravesfan 2 years ago

    If I were the A’s I would be happy with the upside of a future lead off guy for a reliever.

  20. J.R. 2 years ago

    Great deal for the A’s.

  21. Danny Phillips 2 years ago

    Granted Burns accumulated 70 steals and a 300 BA last season. But, as a 24 year old single A player who hit no home runs. His prospect status is debatable, but you have to like that speed tool.

    • jpshark 2 years ago

      He was also moved up to AA last season and over 30 games put up a .325/.434/.360 line (after .312/.422/.391 at HI A). He really isn’t that old for his league, and while I don’t have the numbers in front of me I’m willing to bet he was about average age for AA last season. It would be nice if he displayed more power, but if he keeps up the .400+ OBP he won’t need to. He’ll be a very valuable CF’r either way.

      • FamousGrouse 2 years ago

        30 games, qualifies as a sample. The all important n=30.

  22. Danny Phillips 2 years ago

    Granted Burns accumulated 70 steals and a 300 BA last season. But, as a 24 year old single A player who hit no home runs. His prospect status is debatable, but you have to like that speed tool.

  23. Damon Musha 2 years ago

    Wow, he was just on local radio today, and collectively they downplayed the trade rumors. I thought the odds of him being traded were long, but the pen is indeed stacked, and w/Pomeranz’s splits vs. lefties its not unrealistic to think that he goes to the big club as the lefty specialist in the role that Blevins was in.

    Looks like Burns has some nice upside, so it appears that we’re getting nice value on this trade.

    A’s fans will miss Jerry. He was the longest-tenured A on the team, and he always came off as a nice and professional guy. He was fantastic in the A’s magical season of ’12, but a bit spotty in ’13. Wish him the best!

    • sportsfan07 2 years ago

      The longest tenured A is actually Daric Barton if you count him.

  24. Danny Phillips 2 years ago

    Blevins isn’t a FA until 2016. So it seems Rizzo wanted a LH reliever relatively cheap with some years of control. I can’t complain. Burns has upside, but the Nats OF is stacked.

  25. centerfield_ballhawk 2 years ago

    Only Billy Beane could flip a fringe left – handed reliever for an organization’s reigning minor league player of the year.

    • Danny Phillips 2 years ago

      Minor league player of the year doesn’t equate to prospect status. Dig a little deeper and see he was old for his level, only has a speed and hit tool, and the Nats have better CF prospects.

      • deadgeorge 2 years ago

        421 career minor league obp is just a hit tool?

        • Danny Phillips 2 years ago

          What tool is it? Not power, fielding, or arm strength.

          • deadgeorge 2 years ago

            High obp, while not a traditional skill, is valuable, especially for a guy that can wreak havoc on the basepaths…

    • David 2 years ago

      He wasn’t even a top 10 prospect in the Nationals organization. Don’t read too much into the ML POTY distinction.

  26. sjberke1 2 years ago

    Nats have two just as good If not better CF prospects in Brian Goodwin and Eury Perez. So Burns was basically surplus.

    • Natsfan89 2 years ago

      Yeah Goodwin is the guy Rizzo wants manning center field when Span is gone. Lefty with good speed, decent power, and a nice OBP.

    • Drazthegr8 2 years ago

      Souza and Taylor are ahead of Perez in the CF pecking order. Nats were loaded with CF depth, so while Burns looked good, this was dealing from a position of strength. Good trade.

    • FamousGrouse 2 years ago

      Yep, trade from depth. And Washington added a relief pitcher that may have cost $3-5 million on today’s free agent market.

  27. Danny Phillips 2 years ago

    Chris Cotillo must have a good source with the Nats. He was the first to report the Fister trade.

  28. alexamato 2 years ago

    This move shows why Rizzo and Beane are 2 of the best gms in the game

  29. Ace McCloud® 2 years ago

    Maybe this means we won’t sign Coco after the ’14 season ? Burns hitting over .300 and stealing bases for cheap..good move Beane. I’ll miss Jerry..been with the club since 2007..always a great guy to have around. Nationals got a damn good lefty coming out of their pen now.

    • deadgeorge 2 years ago

      Dont read too much into this…second year arbitration eligible relievers always get dealt by Oakland–see, Breslow, Craig; Ziegler, Brad; Bailey, Andrew; etc etc etc. i guess the difference with Jim Johnson is a possibility of Draft Pick Compensation?

    • TheWoodyD 2 years ago

      Not to mention that Gentry could replace Crisp in 2015-16.

    • Snoochies8 2 years ago

      The sign that Coco won’t come back after next year is the Gentry trade, in my opinion

      • Ace McCloud® 2 years ago

        Yeah, but Burns has a better bat and can steal bases. Gentry is more than likely going to be the fourth guy in our OF rotation. Unless we end up trading Yoenis at some point.

        • Snoochies8 2 years ago

          There is no way to know that Burns has a better bat, he’s been old for his levels outside of AA last year. Gentry has more pop and only slightly worse on base skills. Not to mention defense where both grade out as 65-70 in CF. Gentry has an above average arm but Burns has a below average to average one

          • Ace McCloud® 2 years ago

            We’ll see how it all plays out.

  30. discollama 2 years ago

    Man, Rizzo just keeps making one smart move after another. It’s hard to see him upgrading much more with a team that solid

    • Natsfan89 2 years ago

      Wouldn’t mind a backup catcher or another lefty. But other than that, and knowing that Rizzo is committed to having Espinosa be the team’s utility infielder, the team’s basically set

      • discollama 2 years ago

        I’m not too worried about a backup catcher with Solano and Leon, but with that said, I wouldn’t mind them signing Buck

  31. FamousGrouse 2 years ago

    I see Burns has 1 HR in 1155 PA in the minors. Speedster-type guy. Anyone know if it was an in-the-park homer? He definitely has the speed for it.

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