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Blevins DFA’d, Outman Added

May 23, 2011

In a surprising move, the A’s designated Jerry Blevins for assignment as was tweeted by the A’s themselves:

“#Athletics recall LHP Josh Outman and designate LHP Jerry Blevins for assignment. Blevins remains on the 40-man roster.”

Makes me wonder what the big plan here is. Outman was already on the 40-man roster, so Blevins did not have to be DFA’d to get him up to the big club. This would put the number of players on the 40-man roster at 39. There are three questions this creates for me:

1) Can he clear waivers? And as a tie-in question – do we really care?

Blevins has been pretty bad this year and in 15 outings has pitched 14 1/3 innings with an even 8.2 K/9 and 8.2 BB/9 while allowing 1.3 HR/9. He hasn’t been getting hit around terribly (just a .275 BABIP) but has created his own messes en route to a pathetic 64.7% strand rate. His 4.40 ERA hides this ugliness and his FIP at 5.63 almost seems low. This all added up to a -0.2 WAR, yet for whatever reason Bob Geren continually trotted him out there, including on Saturday when in two-thirds of an inning of “relief” he allowed a hit and intentionally walked a guy. Given the fact he has a left arm which can throw baseballs I doubt he can clear waivers which brings us to the next question…

2) Does he hold any value in a trade?

Have left arm, will pitch – generally means you have a job somewhere in professional baseball. The A’s should be able to get something for him but I doubt very much. Don’t know if the A’s would be willing to increase payroll to bring on a guy who might be overpaid and underperforming at third base for example but I also can’t find anyone who really fits that profile either. The A’s should be able to get something for him, I figure it’ll be along the lines of what the A’s acquired for Clayton Mortensen (who for what its worth is pitching pretty damn well for Colorado right now). Which inspires a third question…

3) Does this move foreshadow a bigger move or strategy?

I have advocated calling up Travis Banwart from Sacramento and this move frees up a 40-man roster spot to do just that. However if you were to get two starters up from Sacramento -with one of them being Banwart – it would have made sense to call up Guillermo Moscoso and not Outman who like Blevins has struggled with control. Kevin Slowey is available in a trade reports La Velle E. Neal of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune saying,

“Slowey said in a text message late Sunday that he believes there’s a possibility he’ll be traded. He told [Ron] Gardenhire during their meeting that working out of the bullpen is tough for him. He has a 4.91 ERA in six outings and gave up two earned runs in two-thirds of an inning Friday in his last outing. His season has been hampered by bursitis in his right shoulder that forced him to the 15-day disabled list last month.

Speaking after Sunday’s loss to Arizona, Slowey suggested he might be better off elsewhere.

‘I understand our situation here,’ he said. ‘I understand the starters we have here, and I understand that, even given past successes as a starter, this might not be the right fit for me anymore.’ “

He’d fit the A’s need for pitchers who can eat some innings, his good control would be a nice departure from the control struggles of Outman for one. Don’t know how much it would take to get Slowey, and it appears as though there’d be a relatively large market for him including teams like the Yankees or Red Sox presumably – and likewise the A’s don’t have too much to give up either.

So not sure what to make of these moves today. I was certain Fautino De Los Santos would be the one who was demoted – even Brian Fuentes in a post game interview criticized Geren for having all these bullpen arms up on the big club but failing to use them (see video) – but alas he gets to stay at least one more day (I suspect he is sent down to Sacramento Tuesday when the A’s need their second starter). Interesting to see what comes of all this, I really can’t say I will be sad to see Blevins go.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. May 23, 2011 5:23 pm

    Kevin Slowey would take a lot to snag, and there was a reason he was demoted from his starting role, although its true his walk totals are enviable.

    Blevins was serviceable, just no place in a stacked bullpen for him.

    I think the starting spot goes to David Purcey, with one of the previously mentioned minor league starters replacing him in his long relief role. I don’t think we’ve seen Purcey since his 3 1/3 IP replacing Ross, have we?

  2. May 23, 2011 6:34 pm

    Ben, thanks for reading! Stop by again!

    Yeah I don’t know what the Twins wants back for Slowey. You’d have to think that the market for him would be quite robust. I don’t really get why Slowey lost his starting role. I realize that the Twins had a full rotation but inexplicably they went with Nick Blackburn instead of Slowey. I don’t think he’s done anything to merit the demotion, though he struggled in a bullpen role he was unaccustomed to (not altogether uncommon).

    Blevins is solid against LHB’s but we have enough of those guys so I agree with you there.

    I just don’t see Purcey as the guy, maybe long term he could be? I think for now it is Outman and Moscoso, though I’d rather see Travis Banwart given the shot. This will become clearer tomorrow.

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