It has been well-documented for days (or even weeks) that the Washington Nationals were in pursuit of a left-handed arm for their bullpen. Oliver Perez, Javier Lopez, and Boone Logan were among the reported targets from Washington, but now, it appears as if they’ve (finally) filled that role.
The Nats have acquired lefty reliever Jerry Blevins from the Oakland A’s in exchange for top-10 prospect outfielder Billy Burns. On the Washington side, this is an immediate upgrade to their big league club at the price of a downgrade on the farm. The 30-year-old Blevins is coming off of three straight quality seasons with Oakland, as he has posted ERA’s of 2.86, 2.46, and 3.15 over a combined 153 innings since 2011. The peripherals indicate that Blevins may be getting a bit lucky, but when they are this consistent, it could simply be a product of under-the-radar effectiveness.
For the A’s, this is a major haul for someone who they could easily afford to lose in Blevins. Burns was Washington’s minor league player of the year in 2013 after he stole an astounding 74 bases in 121 games, and the 23-year-old has even drawn some comparisons to Reds speedster Billy Hamilton. Burns isn’t quite that devastating on the basepaths, but if he keeps hitting, he could be arriving in the Oakland outfield sooner rather than later.