The Braves have acquired left-handed reliever Jerry Blevins from the Athletics, Gabe Burns of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution tweets. Oakland announced that it will receive cash or a player to be named later in return. Atlanta subsequently selected Blevins’ contract, optioned Wes Parsons to Triple-A Gwinnett and transferred reliever Arodys Vizcaino to the 60-day injured list.
An Athletic earlier in his career, Blevins never made it back to Oakland this year after returning to the organization on a minor league contract in the offseason. The 35-year-old instead tossed 10 2/3 innings of 1.69 ERA ball with 13.5 K/9 and 3.38 BB/9 with the A’s Triple-A affiliate.
Blevins had to settle for a role in the minors after a trying 2018 as a member of the Mets, with whom he posted a 4.85 ERA, 8.65 K/9 against 4.64 BB/9, and a measly 21.8 percent groundball rate. Difficulty retiring same-handed hitters played into Blevins’ struggles last year, a season in which he declined sharply after a largely impressive run with the A’s, Nationals and Mets. From 2016-17, his first two full seasons in New York, the soft-tossing Blevins managed a stingy 2.87 ERA with 11.97 K/9, 3.86 BB/9 and a 43.3 percent grounder mark across 91 innings. He was tough on both left- and right-handed hitters in the first of those two seasons, though the latter teed off on him in 2017.
Blevins will now join an Atlanta bullpen which is in dire straits, having limped to the majors’ eighth-highest ERA (4.74) with its worst walk rate (5.87 per nine) and second-worst fWAR (minus-0.7) this season. In the Braves’ estimation, the fact that lefties Jonny Venters and Jesse Biddle are on the injured list and fellow southpaw A.J. Minter has been awful helped create a need for Blevins.