Washington Nationals: Jerry Blevins could be final piece in bullpen puzzle

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MIAMI, FL - JUNE 29: Jerry Blevins #39 of the New York Mets delivers a pitch against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park on June 29, 2018 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - JUNE 29: Jerry Blevins #39 of the New York Mets delivers a pitch against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park on June 29, 2018 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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With Washington Nationals General Manager Mike Rizzo not hanging about in fixing the bullpen, could he round it out with the addition of Jerry Blevins?

With two additions to the bullpen already, it’s clear Mike Rizzo and the Washington Nationals are determined to improve what had been such a problem area for the team. With the backend seemingly revamped, topping it off with Jerry Blevins could make a lot of sense.

The left-hander has just finished a largely successful four-year stint with the New York Mets where he played a LOOGY role. In those four years, he sported a 3.38 ERA with an impressive 10.8 K/9 and 48 holds as he was well utilized during his time in Queens.

Blevins is already familiar with D.C. having spent the 2014 season with the Nationals before his move to the Mets. Also, that LOOGY role he filled in New York is likely the only gaping hole within the Nationals bullpen right now.

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The only lefties remaining on the team’s 40-man roster are Sean Doolittle, Matt Grace and Sammy Solis. Doolittle is locked into the closer’s role, Grace has proven to be a versatile bullpen arm that can go multiple innings, and Solis’ reverse splits make him unusable as a LOOGY.

Nationals manager Davey Martinez appeared to be a strong believer in the platoon matchups, frequently bringing in Grace, Solis and Tim Collins against left-handed hitters. However, with none of them offering much success, surely it would make sense to sign someone who would be a much better bet to get the job done, and one who is experienced in doing so.

Since the start of 2014, left-handed hitters have a slash line of just .202/.262/.272 against Blevins, as well a .240 wOBA. That .240 figure ranks 9th in the major leagues against lefties in that timeframe among pitchers who have pitched at least 100 innings worth against lefties. Pretty impressive.

In Jon Heyman’s free agent contract predictions, he has Blevins making $3 million on a one-year deal, while his expert has him at $2 million for one year. A perfectly affordable price to pay someone to be a lefty specialist. And then if it doesn’t work out, then it doesn’t cost all that cost to the team to designate him for assignment.

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After the Washington Nationals reunited with an old friend in Kurt Suzuki on Monday morning, a reunion with Jerry Blevins this offseason could also make a ton of sense for this team.

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