Pittsburgh Pirates trade rumors: Antonio Bastardo a potential trade target

300px-Antonio_Bastardo_2011 (1)With July coming to a close and several teams still in the playoff hunt, there are several buyers bidding for the same players. A major seller this season appears to be the Philadelphia Phillies, and on Monday 10 scouts, including the Pittsburgh Pirates were in attendance to check out Antonio Bastardo among others.

According to John Perrotto from USA Today Sports, the Pirates are among several teams interested in Bastardo. The Toronto Blue Jays, Detroit Tigers and Cincinnati Reds have also expressed interest in the reliever.

After a disappointing 2013 season, Bastardo has been quite good for the Phillies. He has a 3.30 ERA and 3.10 FIP in 43.2 innings. In his six-year major league career, Bastardo carries a 3.58 ERA and 3.35 FIP.

Left-handed batters are hitting just .143 with a .630 OPS against Bastardo this season. Right-handed hitters are batting .163 with a .513 OPS.

Bastardo is more likely to be moved than Cliff Lee or Jonathan Papelbon. He doesn’t have a big contract (he’s on a one-year, $2 million deal) or a no-trade clause.

The left-handed reliever would be a good addition to the Pirates’ bullpen, which could benefit from another solid arm as they make their push for the post season. A relief pitcher like Bastardo comes cheaper than some of the other big name pitchers. He wouldn’t cost a top prospect like Josh Bell or Nick Kingham but likely a mid-level prospect.

He is arbitration eligible this offseason, but the Pirates aren’t likely to spend three to four million for a relief pitcher.