The Oakland Athletics have reportedly traded left-handed reliever Jerry Blevins to the Washington Nationals for a top minor-league prospect.
According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, the Athletics will get Billy Burns, who was the Nationals’ Minor League Player of the Year in 2013.
According to Passan, via Twitter:
Nationals send Billy Burns, their minor league player of the year, to Oakland for Jerry Blevins.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) December 11, 2013
Burns, 24, is a switch-hitting outfielder who hit .315/.425/.383 across two levels last season with 74 stolen bases.
With High-A Potomac in the Carolina League, Burns hit .312/.422/.391 in 91 games, scoring 70 runs with eight doubles, nine triples, no homers and 29 RBI while swiping 54 bases in 59 attempts.
After he was promoted to Double-A Harrisburg in the Eastern League, Burns hit .325/.434/.360 in 30 games, scoring 26 runs, driving in eight and stealing 20 bases in 22 tries.
He was a 32nd-round pick in 2011 out of Mercer University. He’s 5-foot-9 and 180 pounds but has speed to burn, as evidenced by 125 stolen bases in 266 career games in the minors.
He played both left and center field last year, with two errors in 238 chances.
Blevins, 30, spent parts of seven seasons with the A’s, debuting in 2007. He made 67 relief appearances last season, going 5-0 with a 3.15 ERA and 1.067 WHIP in 60 innings with 52 strikeouts.
He was more than just a lefty specialist; right-handers actually did worst against Blevins in 2013, hitting .190/267/.314 with two homers in 138 plate appearances. Lefty swingers hit .253/.299/.442 and five home runs in 107 trips to the dish.
Blevins was originally drafted in the 17th round in 2004 by the Chicago Cubs out of the University of Dayton and came to the Oakland organization in July 2007 as part of the trade that sent catcher Jason Kendall to Chicago.
Blevins is arbitration-eligible for the first time this winter.