Apr 7, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Oakland Athletics relief pitcher Jerry Blevins (13) pitches during the eighth inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Washington Nationals: Winter Meetings Overall Grade

The Winter Meetings are completely over and things didn’t happen like I thought they would around the league. Big names stayed pat for now, and a lot of big deals were made the week before. So the Winter Meetings were GM’s sitting in the lobby drinking coffee and joking around. Not much work being done.

One thing is for sure, Mike Rizzo got his work done.

The Washington Nationals went into the Winter Meetings looking for lefty reliever and possibly one more bench option. Well they got the first of the two. On Wednesday afternoon Mike Rizzo traded Billy Burns for Jerry Blevins. You can see what I have to say on Blevins here. The best part about the deal, was that the Nats didn’t have to give up Rendon. Burns was Minor League Player of the Year in 2013, but the Nats have a ton of outfield depth in their system that they could let Burns go.

Blevins will help the team tremendously in the next two seasons. He solidifies the lefty reliever option the Nats have been trying to fill for a couple of seasons now.

As for the extra bench option, that didn’t happen. The Nats signed Nate McLouth right before the meetings, so they have at least one bench option. McLouth is a pretty solid one as well.

It would have been nice to see the Nats get a right-handed power bat to bolster the bench, but there is still plenty of time for that to happen. Who knows, maybe Rizzo has something brewing that no one knows about just yet. He is pretty good at doing that.

Even without getting the extra bench option, the overall grade for the winter meetings is a A. Jerry Blevins will completely change the bullpen, being able to go a full inning if needed from the left side. That shortens the game even more for the starters. Starter goes six innings, Blevins/ Drew Storen in the 7th if needed, Tyler Clippard in the 8th, Rafael Soriano in the 9th. That is how I would do it on a good day.

None the less, the Nats got their job done this offseason. They may have not gotten the biggest names in free agency or a trade, but they filled their team needs with quality players that will make a difference in the “win now” system the Nats are putting into place.

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