Oakland A’s Trade Jerry Blevins for a Prospect

Today the A’s traded LHP Jerry Blevins to the Washington Nationals for center field prospect Billy Burns.  This move is more surprising than the many moves the A’s have made earlier this month, since Blevins was an extremely effective left-handed middle reliever for the A’s the last two seasons and wasn’t expected to get a big raise in arbitration this off-season (mlbtraderumors projects $1.5 million).

Most of the moves the A’s have made suggest an intent to try to go deep into the post-season in 2014.  However, losing Blevins almost certainly weakens the team’s bullpen at least somewhat.  Perhaps the A’s intend to use the newly acquired Drew Pomeranz in Blevins’ old role next season.

In fact, moving into a relief role may be just what Pomeranz needs to establish himself as a major league pitcher.  Earl Weaver always said the best place for a young pitcher trying to establish himself as a major leaguer is middle relief.

At any rate, prospect Billy Burns is a center fielder who gets on base and steals bases.  In 2012 in full-season class A ball, Burns hit .322 with a .432 on-base percentage and stole 38 bases in 47 attempts.  In 2013, a year in which he played three-quarters of the season in Class A+ and the last quarter in AA, Burns hit a combined .315 with a .425 OBP and 74 stolen bases in 81 attempts.  His numbers didn’t drop at all making the big jump to AA ball.

Burns turned 24 last August and he has no power at all.  However, the A’s highly value the ability to get on base, speed and defense, and Burns has those talents in spades.  mlbtraderumors says the Nationals were willing to trade him because they currently have a surplus of fleet outfield prospects and Denard Span under control though 2015.  Needless to say, Bryce Harper can also play CF at the major league level.

Explore posts in the same categories: Baltimore Orioles, Denver Rockies, Oakland A's, Washington Nationals

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