Tag: Antonio Bastardo

Antonio Bastardo to Mets: Latest Contract Details, Comments and Reaction

The New York Mets continued fortifying their bullpen Wednesday, agreeing to a two-year, $12 million deal with veteran reliever Antonio Bastardo.

Jon Heyman of MLB Network reported the news. Bastardo, 30, spent last season with the Pittsburgh Pirates. He compiled a 4-1 record with a 2.98 ERA and 1.13 WHIP, earning one save and nine holds. It was his first and only campaign in a Pirates uniform, having spent the previous six years with the Philadelphia Phillies.

Fresh off a World Series appearance, the Mets have nonetheless kept spending to a minimum this offseason. They added Neil Walker and Asdrubal Cabrera, but neither player comes with an exorbitantly high cost or a long-term commitment. Walker can be a free agent after this season, and Cabrera’s deal was only for two years.   

The Bastardo signing continues an organizational trend of short-term commitments. While many Mets fans have become disenchanted with a perceived lack of effort from the front office, keeping things short-term with Bastardo is smart.

He’s never produced more than one win in a single season, per FanGraphs, and has a strange trend of performing in every other season. Starting in 2010, Bastardo has never produced an ERA lower than 3.94 in even-numbered years and has posted ERAs of 2.98 or lower in odd-numbered years.

Statheads would correctly point out that’s a result of fluky variance, but it nonetheless illustrates Bastardo’s inconsistency. He’s not someone worth tethering your franchise to; in most years he’s a slightly above replacement-level reliever.

Jared Diamond of the Wall Street Journal nonetheless pointed out Bastardo’s strengths:

The Mets will probably slot him in the seventh inning, with setup man Addison Reed paving the way for closer Jeurys Familia.

Paying $6 million a season for someone who won’t even pitch in many high-pressure situations seems a little odd on the surface, but this is the new normal in MLB. Teams are recognizing the importance of middle relief more than ever amid the Kansas City Royals‘ ascent, and the going rate for even middle-tier players has never been higher.

Suffice it to say: It’s a good time to be a baseball player. 

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2 Moves Cincinnati Reds Should Have Made at the Deadline

The Cincinnati Reds didn’t make a move at the 2014 MLB trade deadline, but there were a couple of moves the team should have pushed to make.

Cincinnati was around .500 as the deadline approached, so it was in a bit of a tough spot. The team wasn’t in a good enough position to be “buyers,” but it certainly wasn’t in a position to sell. Plus, the team has two franchise players on the disabled list, so making a blockbuster deal wasn’t going to happen.

With a tight payroll, the team was going to have to look for good bargains. 

Reds general manager Walt Jocketty, via MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon, said the team did explore trades. However, there weren’t many offensive pieces available. The team wasn’t looking for superstars, but it did want versatile players.

It’s tough to blame the team for not making a move. Not many teams were selling, so the asking prices were high.

Whether or not the Reds actually looked at the players on this list, they should have attempted to acquire at least one of them.


LHP Antonio Bastardo

The Reds could use some bats, but they could also use a left-handed reliever. The Philadelphia Phillies were expected to be one of the biggest sellers at the deadline, which meant they likely would have listened to offers on Antonio Bastardo.

Sean Marshall is out for the season after undergoing shoulder surgery, and after two consecutive injury-riddled seasons, who knows what his future holds. Manny Parra—the only left-handed reliever in the bullpen not named Aroldis Chapman—has been a disappointment this season and has been battling a back injury recently. 

Cincinnati could have used another southpaw, and Bastardo would have been a good fit. His raw numbers (4.05 ERA and 1.200 WHIP) aren’t great, but when he throws strikes, the 28-year-old is very good.

Left-handed batters are hitting only .179 against Bastardo, which is much lower than the .262 average left-handers have against Parra. Right-handed hitters (.191) aren’t having much more success against Bastardo.

Unfortunately, the southpaw has 25 walksjust one away from his career highin 46.2 innings this season. His strikeouts per nine are up this season, but his strikeout-to-walk ratio is the worst of his career.

Bastardo would have been a good fit in Cincinnati. Manager Bryan Price has been able help get the most out of relievers over the years, and he could have worked with the left-hander to get him to throw strikes more consistently.

Bastardo is under club control through the 2015 season, so if Marshall is unable to pitch effectively next season, the team would have had another left-hander in the bullpen it could turn to.

Philadelphia did not end up trading away any of its veterans at the deadline, mainly because teams said the Phillies were asking for too much. It’s not clear as to how serious they were in trading any of their players, but if they were willing to deal Bastardo, the Reds should have made a big push.


UT Emilio Bonifacio

The Chicago Cubs made it clear they were going to trade utility man Emilio Bonifacio, and he would have been a perfect fit in Cincinnati. 

Chicago ended up trading Bonifacio and James Russell as a package to the Atlanta Braves for a power-hitting prospect just before the deadline. That’s a package that could have benefited the Reds in a big way, as it would have brought back a versatile player and a left-handed reliever. The Cubs may not have traded both inside the division, but the Reds could have at least attempted to acquire the utility man.

Bonifacio fits what the Reds need on offense and defense.

The switch-hitting veteran hit .279 with two home runs, 14 doubles and three triples with the Cubs this season. He also notched 14 stolen bases, which is something Price likes in a player. Bonifacio is hitting a ridiculous .403 against southpaws, which is an area where the Reds (.246) have struggled this season.

With his bat and speed, he would have been a good fit in the second spot in Cincinnati’s lineup.

Not only would his offense be a good fit, but his defense is also exactly what the Reds needed. Nearly everyone on the projected 25-man roster has been hurt this season, so the team has been forced to piece together lineups. Bonifacio’s versatility would have been a welcomed addition. He can play second, shortstop, third and anywhere in the outfield.

Chicago may have been willing to deal Bonifacio inside the National League Central. He is set to be a free agent after this season, so he may have just been a rental player.

Bonifacio isn’t a superstar, but the way this season has gone, his versatility is something that would have been a great addition to the Reds.


All stats are via MLB.com

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Cardinals Trade Rumors: 5 Potential Deals to Shore Up St. Louis Bullpen

Last night against the Miami Marlins the Cardinals came back to win a game in which they trailed in the eighth inning for the first time this season. They were 0-26 in those situations until Monday night.

However, the Redbirds’ bullpen tried their best to punt the game to the Marlins in the seventh as Fernando Salas got just one out while allowing runners to reach second and third. Scatter-armed Eduardo Sanchez followed and walked three men in a row—the first intentionally with the other two coming Rick Ankiel-style.

The Cardinal relievers walked eight batters on the night in 10 innings.

Fortunately for St. Louis, Heath Bell and the Marlins’ bullpen have had continuing struggles of their own and blew a four-run lead in the ninth (but at least they forced the Cards to, you know—hit the ball).

Jason Motte was fortunate that Jose Reyes’ scorching liner to center was right at outfielder Shane Robinson to end a strange night of baseball.

While we give manager Mike Matheny and GM John Mozeliak a moment to wipe their brows, let’s look at five trades that would immediately help the Cardinals’ stressed bullpen.

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Cliff Lee Struggles for the Philadelphia Phillies, While Antonio Bastardo Shines

I’m not one to get too excited or upset seven games into a 162-game season. So I’m about as ready to jump off the Ben Franklin Bridge after Friday night’s 6-3 loss to the Braves, as I was ready to march down Broad Street after their 11-0 win over the Mets Thursday afternoon.

Cliff Lee had an off night, and the Braves managed two innings of offense for the first time this season. After a shaky start, Tim Hudson settled down and kept the Phils off the scoreboard the rest of the game. 

I prefer to savor the one positive for the Phillies tonight, and that was the work of the bullpen after Lee was forced from the game in the third.

The Braves’ offense went dormant the rest of the game, giving the Phils the chance to get back into it. Antonio Bastardo, in particular, was really sharp in striking out six consecutive batters in his two innings of relief work. 

The Phils’ bullpen will be a source of concern all season and the more quality innings we see early on, the better. If they can manage to build their confidence over the course of the summer, it’ll only make things easier should the Phillies get into the postseason again. 

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