There have been rumors that the Washington Nationals were trying to get rid of relievers. However, it’s definitely a great sign that they have decided to instead add to their impressive depth in the bullpen.
The Nationals acquired Jerry Blevins in a trade with the Oakland Athletics for Minor League outfielder Billy Burns. There’s no question this is an outstanding move for Washington as Blevins is an incredible talent.
The left-hander, which is exactly what the Nationals were looking for this offseason, has posted a career 13-6 record with a 3.30 earned run average, 239 strikeouts, 34 holds and two saves in 267 innings. In 2013, he went 5-0 with a 3.15 ERA, 52 strikeouts and four holds in 67 appearances. More importantly, he has a 2.81 ERA and 1.12 WHIP in his last 153 2/3 innings.
Blevins, who has spent his entire career with Oakland, will be a welcomed sight in Washington. It’s hard to say exactly what kind of role he will appear in the bullpen. The fact that he’s incredibly durable means the Nationals will be able to use him multiple different ways. I have to imagine the most logical will be as middle relief or a left-handed specialist.
Even though Washington’s bullpen depth is rather decent, the numbers didn’t add up in 2013. More specifically, the Nationals were very interested in the improvement of the bullpen’s 3.56 ERA, which ranked 11th in the National League last season. The good news is Blevins should have no problem helping with those numbers.