Bastardo has only made nine appearances out of Pittsburgh’s bullpen this season after spending two months on the disabled list with a quad strain. Even in his limited action, the southpaw has been very ineffective, posting a 15.00 ERA thanks to five homers and nine walks over just nine innings pitched. It’s perhaps unfair to extrapolate too much given this small sample size (and Bastardo’s less-than-healthy status), though the lefty is also coming off a rough 2016 campaign that saw him post a 4.52 ERA and a 1.5 HR/9 over 67 2/3 IP for the Pirates and Mets.
Bastardo has always countered somewhat shaky control (career 4.4 BB/9) with big strikeout totals, though his average fastball velocity has dropped a full mile per hour from last year, down to 90.5 mph. By contrast, he was averaging 92.8 mph on his heater in 2015, Bastardo’s last effective season.
After signing a two-year, $12MM deal with the Mets in the 2015-16 offseason, Bastardo is owed approximately $3.15MM for the rest of this season. The Pirates are on the hook for that amount unless someone claims Bastardo or a trade is worked out, and given Bastardo’s lack of effectiveness, one would think any interested team could wait to see if Bastardo is released after his DFA period expires. Bastardo carried some pretty solid career numbers prior to 2016, so he could certainly draw some looks from clubs in need of left-handed relief depth.