In need of a lefty reliever, the Nationals received an early Christmas present this month, acquiring left-hander Jerry Blevins from the A's for outfielder Billy Burns.
Blevins had a 3.15 ERA for the A's this past season, allowing a .253 batting average to lefty hitters. His best season in Oakland came in 2012, when he went 5-1 with a 2.48 ERA and held lefty hitters to .182 batting average.
MLB.com caught up with Blevins on Sunday to talk about the spirit of Christmas.
MLB.com: What does Christmas mean to you?
Jerry Blevins: Christmas means family time, sharing gifts, giving sentiments back and forth. It also means spending time with family you care about and don't get to see very often.
MLB.com: Do you remember the best Christmas you ever had?
Blevins: They all have their great memories. It has been a tradition of taking family portraits and looking back on pictures, sharing stories. As I get older, I hear family members talk about my mom growing up. It's fun to go year-to-year and learn bigger and newer things about your family.
MLB.com: Do you remember the best Christmas present you ever received?
Blevins: That's a good question. It has to be when my brother and I were young. We received our first Nintendo. I remember getting it and playing Super Mario with my brother. I found out years later that it had been unwrapped because my mom played a game or two. She said she was testing it to make sure it worked. It was unwrapped and plugged in. We could go straight on it. That's cool. She had to break it in, I guess.
MLB.com: You recently said you were going to a Christmas party. What was that like? Was it with family?
Blevins: I went to [a] Christmas party [put together by Excel Sports management]. It was fun, it was nice. There were a couple of other players and athletes from different sports that showed up, showed their appreciation. It's a great company. One of the biggest appeals to me when I went to their office -- it 's kind of like a clubhouse. Those guys joke around with each other and they spend a lot of time together, too. It's fun to see them out of their 9-5 jobs and out of the office, kind of interact and see their competitive side come out.
MLB.com: When you were traded to the Nationals, was that an early Christmas present for you?
Blevins: It was definitely like a Christmas present. It was one of those exciting surprises. I'm so looking forward to it. I'm nervous like a kid going to high school for the first time.
MLB.com: Have you talked to anyone from the Nationals yet?
Blevins: We have communicated back and forth through Twitter and a few phone calls, just to introduce myself. Most of the introduction will come during Spring Training, maybe at [NatsFest], too.
MLB.com: Do you have any New Year's resolutions? If so, what are they?
Blevins: I tend not to make resolutions. I try to redo my goals if need be, but I feel New Year's resolutions never work out for anybody. I kind of make my resolutions as I go and if needed.
MLB.com: If you had a Christmas wish, what would that be?
Blevins: It would be a World Series for the 2014 Washington Nationals. You think Santa can deliver that?
MLB.com: I think he will.
Blevins: Me, too.
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats.