By Jason Shetler
Per John Dreker of Pirates Prospects, Antonio Bastardo cleared waivers and has officially been released by the Pirates.
Bastardo first joined the Pirates in a trade from the Philadelphia Phillies in December of 2014. The 2015 Pirates had one of the best bullpens in all of baseball, and Bastardo played a vital role, posting a 2.98 ERA and a 131 ERA+ in 66 appearances.
Prior to last season, Bastardo inked a two-year contract with the New York Mets for $12 million. The veteran lefty was about a league average reliever for the Mets, as he posted an ERA+ of 102. Following the struggles of Jon Niese, the Pirates dealt Niese back to New York in exchange for Bastardo at the trade deadline. Combined with the Mets and Pirates, Bastardo had a 4.52 ERA in 69 games pitched.
During the offseason, the Pirates placed Bastardo on the trade block, but decided to keep him, after drawing very little interest from other clubs. This season has been an absolute train wreck for Bastardo, making nine appearances, to the tune of a 15.00 ERA, while allowing five home runs. The Pirates designated him for assignment last week.