Antonio Bastardo was effective out of the bullpen for the Philadelphia Phillies in 2013 before getting dinged with a 50 game suspension in August as part of the Biogenesis investigation.
The Phillies avoided arbitration with the left-handed pitcher on Tuesday, as first reported by Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly:
More Phillies news. Antonio Bastardo avoids arbitration with one year $2 mill deal. Now back to the driveway
— Jim Salisbury (@JSalisburyCSN) January 21, 2014
Relying on an effective slider that he threw 36.9% of the time last season (according to FanGraphs), Bastardo was effective against left-handed and right-handed hitters. In 48 appearances he put up a 2.32 ERA and 3.00 FIP. In 2012 he had a 14.02 K/9 mark in 65 games, so he clearly has wipe-out stuff when he’s right.
For that level of effectiveness from a left-handed guy out of the bullpen, the Phillies stand to get a nice bargain here. At age 28, Bastardo still stands to cash in at some point if he can prove his value in the seasons after his suspension.
The Phillies still have work to do if they want to avoid an arbitration hearing, needing to sign outfielder Ben Revere. If they manage that, they will have a number of efficient signings in their pocket as they look ahead to next season.