The unexpected happened today: the Nats acquired a loogy. Even more unexpected; Mike Rizzo and Billy Beane teamed up to consummate a trade (this is the 7th trade between the clubs in just the last 3 seasons). Welcome Jerry Blevins; you’re arrival has been widely speculated upon. Heading the other way is the Nats 2013 minor league hitter of the year Billy Burns, a non-prospect in the eyes of analysts but certainly a favorite of many who follow the Nats farm systems. I liked Burns, but in all honestly he’s so far down our current OF depth chart that he clearly was an expendible resource, despite his potential.
I’m somewhat ambivalent on Blevins: his 2013 splits against lefties were, frankly, not impressive (a .740 OPS). It could be a one-season deviation though, since his career splits are much better (.224 BAA). He’s a lefty in the pen who mostly pitched in lower-leverage situations for Oakland this year, leaving the higher leverage situations to the better lefty in Oakland’s pen, UVA’s own Sean Doolittle. So, we gave up a lesser prospect to get a lesser reliever.
Now for the fun part: We were at 39/40 on the 40-man roster with the Doug Fister trade. Nate McLouth makes 40. Blevins makes 41. Somebody’s getting DFA’d, likely today. Who makes way?
The obvious candidate is Corey Brown. Brown’s chances of making the 2014 team took a severe hit with the McLouth signing. More importantly; Brown no longer has any minor league options and he would likely have been DFA’d at the end of next spring training anyway. Designating him now is the right thing to do for him by the organization, cutting him loose now to try to catch on with the best possible organization that will give him a shot at getting back to the major leagues.
Summary; expected move #3 of 4 this off-season has occurred (#1 being another starter, #2 being some bench help). Last move John Buck?