Nationals Acquire Jerry Blevins

The busy bees … er, A’s … have dealt lefty reliever Jerry Blevins to the Washington Nationals in return for speedy outfielder Jerry Burns.

I like this deal for both sides. The Nats have plenty of outfield depth blocking Burns, and they were desperate to add a solid lefthander to their bullpen. The Athletics had a surplus of LOOGYs, are always on the lookout for cheap, controllable assets, and Burns appears to be Vince Coleman Lite. In fact, it’s too bad that the Mets couldn’t wrangle away Burns in return for one of their lefthanded relievers — if I’m the Mets, I give up Scott Rice for Burns in a heartbeat. But maybe the Nats wouldn’t do that deal, and/or, maybe neither team wants to work with a NL East rival.

In other news, reliever Ryan Webb officially signed a two-year, $4.5M contract with the Orioles. He had a career year with Marlins and cashed in. As did his former Miami teammate Chad Qualls. Maybe the Marlins bullpen management is something to look at? Perhaps they’re doing something differently from other clubs, to get the most from their relievers?

Also, Roy Halladay, Mark Prior, and Jerry Hairston, Jr., all announced their retirement over the past few days. But, Adam Kennedy and Mark Mulder announced they are not retired, and attempting comebacks. Interestingly, did you know that former Astro outfielder Jason Lane is still playing pro ball? Except now he is a lefthanded pitcher — he found his way into 11 AAA games for Tucson, and was hammered, though most PCL pitchers have ugly stats.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. argonbunnies December 11, 2013 at 8:01 pm
    Didn’t the Marlins also get a stellar year out of Clay Hensley, in between poor years for other teams? Let me look this up…

    Yeah, in 2010 he was great.

    In 2011 he was terrible… also for the Marlins.

    Hmm. Maybe their techniques only work for a year.

  2. argonbunnies December 11, 2013 at 8:06 pm
    I’m very curious to see how history will view Halladay. Terrible at age 23, good at 24, great at 25-26, injury-plagued at 27-28, excellent but not dominant at 29-30, best pitcher in the game from 31-34, fell apart at 35-36.

    It’d be like if Maddux had retired after 2000 — his career totals wouldn’t be as amazing, but he’d be more vivid in people’s minds as The Best, as opposed to turning into an 80-pitch finesse guy for his final half-decade.

    I imagine Halladay’s best shot at the Hall will be his first few times on the ballot. Once the people who saw him pitch retire from the BBWAA, his numbers alone may not suffice (3.38 ERA, only 8 seasons of 30+ starts, pretty avg K rate).

    • Joe Janish December 11, 2013 at 9:31 pm
      I think of Halladay similar to how I view Catfish Hunter, though Hunter had a longer streak of domination while Halladay had those shoulder issues earlier in his career that dropped him from being The Best, while Catfish had the shoulder problem that completely ended his career, except for a mysterious 3-month period at the end of ’78 (supposedly his doctor broke adhesions in his shoulder, but could steroids have been administered?).
      • argonbunnies December 12, 2013 at 1:41 am

        Hunter’s best 4-year stretch: 90-38, 1198 innings, 2.58 ERA (league 3.38), 2.37 K/BB.

        Halladay’s best 4-year stretch: 77-37, 969 innings, 2.59 ERA (league 4.14), 7.9 K/BB.

        Outside of those 4 years, Hunter was more durable than Halladay, but less effective. From ’67-’71, Hunter averaged 255 innings, but was 77-70 and with a league-average ERA.

  3. Izzy December 11, 2013 at 8:41 pm
    Bartolommeo Colon for two. And the puppets claimed guys were too old when they were thirty!
    • argonbunnies December 11, 2013 at 8:49 pm
      This just in: officials in the Dominican Republic have reported that Colon lied about his age, and is actually 44! When informed, Alderson said, “This doesn’t change anything. We think he’s still getting better!”