The Pirates have acquired southpaw reliever Antonio Bastardo from the Phillies in exchange for minor league left-hander Joely Rodriguez. After adding Francisco Liriano and A.J. Burnett to the rotation, Pittsburgh was thought to now be turning its attention to acquiring relief pitching, and now the Bucs have added a solid bullpen arm from their in-state rivals.
Bastardo has a 3.36 ERA, 2.61 K/BB and an impressive 11.6 K/9 over 216 2/3 IP with Philadelphia since 2011. The lefty is solid against both right-handed and left-handed batters, though control is something of an issue, as Bastardo has posted a 4.6 BB/9 over the last three seasons. Tony Watson was the only other established lefty in the Pittsburgh bullpen, so Bastardo’s addition gives the Bucs another solid late-game option against left-handed hitters.
Rodriguez posted a 4.84 ERA, 4.9 K/9 and 1.70 K/BB rate over 134 Double-A innings last season. The 23-year-old has mostly been used as a starter over his six pro seasons and has a career 4.02 ERA over 441 1/3 minor league innings.
Robert Murray was the first to report the deal, with FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal confirming that the two sides were close to an agreement. CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported the trade had been finalized, with Joel Sherman of the New York Post reporting Rodriguez’s involvement. (all links to Twitter) CSNPhilly.com’s Jim Salisbury initially reported Pittsburgh’s interest in Bastardo earlier today.