Left-handed reliever Antonio Bastardo emerged onto the scene fully in 2011, when he finished with a 2.64 ERA in 58 innings while striking out 70. After a tough 2012 that saw his ERA jump to 4.33 despite his peripheral stats improving somewhat, Bastardo was looking to bounce back. And he has.
Over the last three seasons, the 30-year old has compiled a 3.18 ERA in 164 innings. He’s fanned 192 batters and held opponents to a .191 batting average. It seems like other teams are starting to take notice of the free agent just as the market seems to be cooling down — one such team being the Dodgers.
Courtesy of Robert Murray (@RobertMurrayBBE), a reporter for Baseball Essential:
— Robert Murray (@RobertMurrayBBE) January 19, 2016
One of the projected salaries for Bastardo is in the $4 to $5 million range per year, possibly with him getting a three-year deal out of it. He would be worth it, as well.
Bastardo has held lefties to a lifetime .178 batting average and .595 OPS. That’s a dominant reliever. It’s not just lefties that he frustrates, either. Right-handed batters are only hitting .211 against him throughout his career.
Factor in his career 29.2% strikeout rate, 13.4% swinging strike rate and 3.33 FIP, and you have the makings of a potentially dominant back-end of the bullpen now with him paired with Chris Hatcher and, of course, Kenley Jansen.
We’ll just have to wait and see if the Dodgers are definitely interested in kicking the tires on Bastardo, or if this is just all talk. Getting him would be a major coup, though.