When the Oakland Athletics traded Jerry Blevins to the Washington Nationals for prospect Billy Burns, it was the type of traded that Billy Beane seemingly lives to make. In exchange for a somewhat replaceable piece, he was able to acquire a prospect that could have a place on the major league roster within the next couple of seasons. Just your average day in the office for Beane.
So, why are we bringing up a trade between the A’s and the Nationals? Because that trade may actually give an idea as to the Royals could get for their own surplus of relievers. Aaron Crow and Tim Collins have been on the trade block seemingly all offseason, with one or the other seemingly involved in every trade discussion involving the Royals. With relievers such as Joe Smith getting a three year deal worth more than $5 Million per, young, controllable relief pitching has become a hot commodity.
While Burns has never ranked among the top 100 prospects in baseball, he was considered to be the fastest baserunner had to have the best plate discipline in the Nationals organization by Baseball America heading into the 2014 season. In his minor league career, Burns has put together a .312/.421/.379 batting line. While he is not a power threat with one career minor league home run, Burns has stolen 125 bases while being caught just 17 times. Although Burns is a flawed player, he may be someone that a team could use as a fourth outfielder.
That may be roughly the type of return for either Crow or Collins, if they are not included in part of a larger offer. Since both pitchers are younger than the 30 year old Blevins and have three years of team control left, the Royals may be able to get a slightly better prospect than what the A’s got back in Burns, but they are still likely to get a player who may be flawed in some way.
The trade of Blevins for Burns now gives the Royals an idea as to what the market would be for either Aaron Crow or Tim Collins. They may not command a top prospect, but they could bring back a decent piece if they are not included in a trade package to fill an immediate need.