By Jason Shetler
According to Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Pirates are willing to pay some of Antonio Bastardo’s $6.5 million salary for 2017 in order to trade him.
Prior to the 2015 season, Bastardo was acquired by the Pirates from the Philadelphia Phillies. In 66 appearances, he put up a 2.98 ERA with a 131 ERA+, and was a vital part of a bullpen that helped lead the Bucs to a 98-win season.
Bastardo signed with the New York Mets last offseason on a two-year deal for $12 million. He pitched in 41 games for the Mets before being dealt back to Pittsburgh at the trade deadline for Jon Niese. Bastardo then made 28 appearances with the Pirates. Combined with both teams, he posted a 4.52 ERA along with an ERA+ of 92. On Friday, the Pirates signed Wade LeBlanc to a one-year deal to avoid arbitration. Because there is currently four lefty relievers in the bullpen, it’s certainly fair to assume that Bastardo could be traded.