Pirates Acquire Antonio Bastardo From the Phillies For Joely Rodriguez

The Pittsburgh Pirates are pursuing Antonio Bastardo of the Philadelphia Phillies, according to Jim Salisbury.

This is not the first time the Pirates have been linked to Bastardo. They were also connected to him last July (which was also from Salisbury). Ultimately, the Phillies didn’t trade him. The Pirates have been reported to be looking at lefty relievers on the trade market, including briefly discussing a swap of Travis Snider for Brian Matusz.

Bastardo has been a solid reliever, putting up a career 3.72 ERA and a 3.78 xFIP. He also has an 11.3 K/9 and a 4.3 BB/9. He’s under control for one more season, and is projected to make $2.8 M in his final year of arbitration.

UPDATE 5:43 PM:  Robert Murray is reporting the deal is done, although there are no specifics yet.

Ken Rosenthal tweets that the deal is close. Expect more news shortly.

UPDATE 5:55 PM: Jon Heyman says it’s a done deal.

UPDATE 5:57 PM: Joel Sherman says it’s Joely Rodriguez going for Bastardo.

UPDATE 6:02 PM: Here is a report on Rodriguez from the 2015 Prospect Guide (a book which he will no longer be featured in after this deal). He was our #33 ranked prospect in the system, with an upside of an impact bullpen piece or a spot starter.

Joely Rodriguez has shown many forms in his minor league career. He looked dominant in his jump to the US in 2010, hitting 94 MPH out of the bullpen with good movement. He went down with an elbow injury in 2011, then returned in 2012 to poor results. The 2010 stuff returned in 2013, and he once again looked like a promising prospect, sitting 91-94 MPH and touching 96, while showing good command and good secondary stuff, with an above-average slider and a nice changeup.

The 2014 season was a rollercoaster that showed both versions of Rodriguez. He struggled in Altoona as a starter, and was eventually moved to the bullpen. The struggles continued in relief. He was sent to the Arizona Fall League during the off-season, where he suddenly was putting up strong results again. He followed that up by going to the Dominican Winter Leagues, where he got off to a great start in the rotation. The late-season improvements are good to see, especially in two leagues known for having good levels of talent.

When he’s at his best, Rodriguez looks like a guy that could be a starter in the majors — possibly a number three or a number four guy. Unfortunately, Rodriguez has been too inconsistent in his career to really pin down an upside. The off-season success gives hope that he’s on the right track. He should return to Altoona in 2015, but could move up to Indianapolis if he carries over the off-season results. He might have trouble fitting in to the Pirates’ rotation in the future, but has a very real shot of making the bullpen, where he could end up a dominant left-hander. He needs to become more consistent before that can happen.

Rodriguez has some upside, but the big problem here is consistency. I really liked what I saw from him in Bradenton during the 2013 season. He didn’t have that in 2014 in Altoona, but has been doing well in the winter leagues, and was named to the AFL All-Star team today. He’s not a guy who is untouchable. He’s also not a guy who projected to be in the Pirates’ rotation, and his likely upside with the team would be in the bullpen. They’re basically trading six years of a guy who could be a strong lefty reliever or better, and getting one year of a guy who has been a good lefty reliever in the majors.

UPDATE 6:20 PM: The 2015 payroll page is updated with the move. The Pirates are currently projected around $75 M, and that figure doesn’t include Francisco Liriano’s signing, which could take things up another $13 M (assuming he’s making an even amount each year). The Pirates had an open spot before this, but since Rodriguez was on the 40-man roster, they won’t need to use that spot to add Bastardo when the deal is official.

UPDATE 6:29 PM: The Pirates have officially announced the deal.

  • I’m sure this will get me bashed on this site but the truth is the Pirates are worse right now than they were last year. They are worse last year from the year before. I get it everyone is happy we signed Liriano. I am too but these are lateral moves.
    Liriano was already on the team. Martin > Cervelli , Watson = Bastardo, Volquez= Burnett, Rodríguez > Barmes . Does nobody see this?
    I can’t wait until the day we get a impact player in the offseason that isn’t trying to rebuild his value (Martin), and fills a hole from the year before.
    Ready to be bashed by the fans who think my opinion should be well they aren’t losing.

    • I meant Wilson not Watson

      • So I have come to trust this FO… They aren’t trying to keep us happy.. They are putting together a team to win 90… Smart guys.

    • You say all of that like it is in a vacuum. Josh Harrison for full year > Pedro, but Pedro at first > all the other years. Polancos potential >> anything the Pirates have. Snider off the bench > Nix or Morel or Tabata etc. This team is chalk full of talent and to be honest, I see this team as a huge contender next year. The bullpen needs a couple stronger pieces but it is what it is. Also, Watson? You mean Wilson and Bastardo was better last year than wilson. Give me this team over those teams any day!

      • Is this team better? What if that was J Hays best year? Just saying now he’s at 3B and Pedro at 1B. Plus Polanco has potential but hasn’t put it together yet. A lot of maybes and not all will work out.

        • But now your playing the maybe game. What if cutch tears his acl, or Cole has a cy young year? Maybes are just that. you have to base it off the past and promise for the future. Could I see jhay coming back to earth? Sure! Could I see PEDRO hitting 40 hrs? Yep! Or Neil playing on his same level? Uh huh. We play this game constantly, but we don’t know nothing till the season begins. You have to remember that Martin at 82 million after one season where he hit well and the other he barely hit for average is not someone I would want for that money. It’s a feeling I have that this team will be pretty special.

        • You can go to each team in baseball and, if you look at every player, find a bunch of “maybes”. I could list 4-5 scenarios on how the Cards have a good deal of unknown going into next year. The maybe game never stops, and never is really set on a solid background because its assuming either way.

      • I torment myself with this every day. It’s like playing 3-dimensional chess. But Nate essentially is on the right track. Pedro’s WAR increases because his defense grades improve (no throws into the stands). Net net, more WAR from both 1st and 3rd, let’s say 1.5 WAR total as a baseline. Cervelli should be an automatic 2 WAR with potential for more. Polanco/Snider combine for 3.5. That gets you about even with what you lost with Martin. But you’re crossing your fingers that you’re right.

        However, that assumes everyone else is stable. At this point it’s hard to say with any conviction that the team is actually “better”. Seems more like running in place. Still a couple of months to go to do more.

    • Nah , I see what you’re saying… Don’t know how you felt this time a year ago.. I said , my God , they are effed ! Edinson Volquez ?! WTF?!
      Only place I love being wrong..

    • The other side too is , the premier talents we do have.. and we do have a few… Are still growing , maturing …. Getting better…

      • OK Agreed on that and we got more prospects coming but still not what I’m talking about. The Cards do to but they managed Heyward!

        • They also lost a stud in Tavares

        • But the Pirates FO would never make that deal. As bad and overused as it is, we are small market team for the time being. Why would we trade someone such as James Taillon for one year of Hayward? We wouldn’t because it doesn’t fit us. This team is very good and will be good. The FO knows what it is doing. Plus Heyward was brought in because Tavares passed.

          • We have very different opinions of Shelby Miller!!! Closer to Morton in my value.

            • Miller has an upside of a 2 starter in MLB to me which is right around where I think taillon will be when he comes up. Still, the value of a 3 starter for 4 years or a great defensive OF who hasn’t lived up to his hitting potential yet for one year? Eh I think I am going with the starter.

        • The beauty is we didn’t need Heyward…or his one yr rental or his price tag.

          We have a dynamic , young , improving and team friendly OF

    • Everyone’s entitled to their opinions, so I don’t think there will be any bashing.

      I think that you are vastly undervaluing Cervelli and Bastardo.

      I would amend your comparison from this year to last year (at this moment) to:

      Martin>Cervelli (but a healthy Cervelli is as good if not better than the Martin who arrived in Pittsburgh 2 years ago – Martin played over his head, offensively, this past year, but Cervelli is a very good catcher, but the caveat is “when he’s healthy”)

      Bastardo > Wilson
      Burnett > Volquez (but very close)
      Alvarez > Sanchez+Davis
      2015 Polanco > 2014 Polanco

      I really don’t see a regression from last year to this year. I would say they are as good as last year’s team (Martin’s offense can easily be made up by improvements from Alvarez and Polanco over last year). Even, optimistically, perhaps a bit better.

      “I can’t wait until the day we get a impact player in the offseason”

      That’s what the Pirates’ minor leagues are for (hopefully.)

      • Wilson was a beast a year ago. Burnett is very old. Alvarez who knows? I agree on Polanco.
        I hope J Hay matches last year as a regular but not sure he will. I thought Alvarez was going to last year. You just never know. I think the Pirates will be good but not better than they were last year or the year before.
        Very nice post and I hope I’m wrong.

    • Well, the premise of your argument seems to rest entirely on the assertion that Martin is better than Cervelli. That’s probably correct, but you don’t account for how much worse and whether that production can be made up elsewhere in the lineup.

      • No my point was these signings and moves are lateral moves at best. 1B/3B still questions and now we have a Catcher who seems injury prone. What I think this team really lost in Martin was a Great leader and team guy and it’s scary to think of Stewart playing the most games as Catcher.

        • You wrote that the Pirates are worse than they were last year. Then you listed why and the only thing in the negative column is Martin > Cervelli. If everything else is equal (and despite your assertion, I’m not sure it is), then all the team has to do to be better than it was last year was make up what they lost with Martin somewhere else.

          Maybe they do that by having Harrison play 3B all year. Maybe they do that by Polanco improving. Maybe they do that by having Alvarez return to form and stop committing throwing errors. Etc. It all depends on how much the drop-off is from Martin/Stewart to Cervelli/Stewart– and I’m not sure the defensive drop is terribly significant– and you don’t really say how much it is and why there’s no chance it can’t be made up somewhere else.

          • Yes I would say that Martin drop off to Cervelli is bigger than any other move and it’s a loss of a leader too. Maybe Alvarez resurrects his career at 1B. Maybe J Hay can play better than he did last year. Maybe Polanco will be player we all hope he is. However the Cards just signed the best RF in baseball last year. No Maybes. That is who we are competing with and they will bring in a SP too.
            1B Moreau – Ishikawa – Alvarez
            RF Byrd – Tabata/ Snider – Polanco
            C Martin- Martin – Cervelli/ Stewart
            ———————————————————-
            I think most in baseball would choose column A Nobody would take B. Column C could be good.

            • Stop acting like the Cards dont have maybes, its absurd. Yes they do, just like every team. The Cards arent some all knowing team with sure things at most spots. They have questions in the OF (particularly CF), a few “maybes” in the back end of the rotation and Kolten Wong, who hasnt shown me anything that makes him a sure bet to be an above average option.

  • Brian K. Rhodes
    December 10, 2014 8:20 pm

    Looking at Bastardo’s game logs last year,he gave up multiple earned runs in 5 different appearances. In those games he pitched 3 innings total allowing 19 earned runs. In his other appearances, 61 innings and 9 Earned runs. So he’s great for the most part but when he’s bad, look out! 51 scoreless appearances out of 67.

  • I like the deal. They are trying to win now. They needed a left handed reliever. They traded someone who may never even reach the majors for an established player in their weak spot. Selling high on a guy coming off a bad year nonetheless. I see no downside. You can’t label Joely as an untouchable just cause he threw left handed and the system is thin in that area. He still was likely destined for the bullpen.

  • So what I’m hoping for is that Bastardo, Holdzkom, Watson and Melancon all get clean innings and Hughes is used exclusively as a fireman.

    • Wouldn’t it be wonderful?

      • bucsws2014-
        I like this bullpen. So you gonna change your handle to 2015? I thought we had a couple rough spots with the pen last year and it cost us some games that might have put us one or two games over the top in the division. This should work very well.

        Still have Rhamadz (check spelling) Liz coming too.

        Shoot, man, the season is so far away and NH is burning up the track here.

        -Bb

        • Re: my handle… I’m sticking by my prediction out of principle. It keeps me humble.

          Keep in mind, Grilli was supposed to be a pretty sure thing. Him and Morris basically cost us April. And it’s not like Watson hasn’t blown a bunch of save opportunties either. Cross your fingers this is going to be a good group.

  • If we get Bastardo extended beyond 2015, its a good trade as far as meeting a need for a quality LH in the bullpen. If we do not get more than 2015 out of Bastardo and we don’t win the World Series 2015, I am less enthused by the trade. We have now traded our two best LH starting pitcher prospects in the past 9 months – Taylor and Rodriguez. We have nothing to show for Taylor, essentially that was a giveaway. We need to get Bastardo extended now – and not wait until after the season starts.

    • If Taylor and Rodriguez were our two best LH starting pitching prospects, I think that really speaks to our lack of quality LH starting pitching prospects more than anything else. As Tim mentioned, Rodriguez was probably headed to the bullpen eventually anyway.

      • I agree, and who do we have left now? BTW, when we drafted Taylor in the second or third around in 2013, everyone within the organization and on this site seemed to be pretty high on him and thought he was a great pick. Now, people knock him down since we traded him – I hate when people do that. Its not being very intellectually honest.

        • I didnt see many super high on him after his first year. Many liked his overall look but saw a relief option in the majors, which tends to dampen everyone on a player still in A ball. His being already profiled as a bullpen arm about 3-4 years away makes most people okay with dealing him. Good arm, good ability but not a guy you cringe over losing. Ike didnt pan out, but thats the game.

          • Everyone, expect the Pirates apparently, knew Ike wasn’t going to pan out – he is what he is. A very mediocre first baseman, who strikes out too much and hits for low average. He was even worse for the Pirates, because he didn’t do the one thing he was supposed to be good at – hit for power. The Mets were thrilled to unload him – we likely could have gotten him on waivers if we waited another 3-4 weeks.

            • Good to know you know more about the market and the players than scouts and FO workers. You should apply, because you so obviously knew what would happen! Well done. Seriously, you arent even able to see how Ike Davis was a decent risk? Saying he was brought here to hit for power even ignores his own words on what he was trying to do after talking with the coaches, in that he was willing to give up power for OBP. He wasnt asked to hit 40 HRs, he was asked to be above replacement level at 1B. He isnt great, and isnt useless. Unless you had already made up your mind and refuse to see value in more than 1 area.

              • I didn’t have to be a genius – just had to pay attention to Ike’s career. The Pirates panicked and made this trade on an impulse. They were desperate for someone to play first base and produce, so they went for the long shot. It failed, which was no surprise. They were looking for him to provide power, because that is what they emphasized when they traded for him. Instead, they got a singles hitter – and not a very good one.

                Let me know if someone picks Ike up and he actually becomes a productive major league first baseman.

                • Might want to stay up to date if you are going to dislike an entire players game for not hitting dingers, since OAK picked up Davis already and is looking like they are using him as the regular 1Bmen. It is possible for a player to be flawed and still bring value. Ike profiles as a 1 WAR option, which certainly isnt great but isnt the zero production you want it to be.

                  • Well, players have had renaissance seasons in the past with the A’s, lets see if Ike can hit better in the AL. But, I won’t hold my breath!

    • There really isnt any sign that the team was looking to keep Joely at SP longterm, since a few reporters that spend time around the org seemed inclined to think he was a future relief man. I also dont understand half the fanbase thinking we desperately need LHP. LHP is nice, but not necessary to succeed.

      Also, Blake Taylor is so far off from being a candidate for anything that including him seems poor. Taylor is a lottery pick, so getting some playing time by another player in the majors (which isnt nothing, as you suggest) is a good deal. Neither Taylor nor Joely are guys you fret over losing.

      • I disagree – I’d prefer to have Taylor back and annul the Ike Davis trade. I said at the time it was a dumb trade.

        • Which may turn out to be true, but if the team isnt willing to trade a kid about 4+ years away and profiling already as a relief option it wont make many deals ever. Those are the risks you gotta take.

          • Show me a link to a story where the Pirates organization was projecting Taylor as anything but a starter….

  • Solid move from my view. Give up a rather up and down “maybe” middle rotation arm at best for a year of a solid reliever. I like Joely, but dont think he hits more than a back end rotation arm.

  • Great move Neal!! hopefully one more bullpen piece and a RH bench option and I think the Bucs are ready to roll. The Pirates get over the hump and win the Central in 2015!!

  • Terrible. I hate to feel as tho I am rooting against this kid , but I really hope we don’t see Joely as the Phil’s #5 starter or pitching the 7th ….

    Dollar for Dollar this is a major step back from Justin Wilson..

    This wa an over -reach.

    • what makes Justin Wilson so much better than Bastardo? I’m willing to be convinced by you. Not convinced now though.

      • Agreed. I saw nothing from Wilson last year to convince me he’s got the confidence to consistently throw strikes and record outs in relief. The TV announcers were always telling me how great his stuff was, usually right before he let a lead slip.

        • That’s the rub.. What do you like about Bastardo? He costs more. He offers less team control. They don’t value this guy…. They were scrambling for a lefty.

      • Nothing. They are both a U for unsatisfactory. Bastardo is just a more expensive less team controlled ‘U’

    • Only you think that negatively of this move. Not only is this statistically not a “major” step back from Wilson, but its also absurd to think Joely is anywhere near being the Phils #5 starter right now. That’d be a huge rush on their part. Bastardo has seen xFIP of 3.56, 3.18, 4.09, 3.81 his last 4 years. Wilsons last 3 years were xFIP of 3.28, 3.82, 3.88.

      Projections have these guys are very similar, so i see no backing for your claim that Wilson is much better other than familiarity with Wilson and his fastball speed. I like Wilson, but his stuff hasnt been drastically different than Bastardo in the last few years.

      • He said dollar for dollar. Bastardo will get at least $3M in arb while Wilson is still at league minimum.

        • Complaining about a $3 million dollar payday kind of seems like splitting hairs to me. If he helps you win 1 or 2 extra games, I would think the organization would gladly pay the difference.

          • Bastardo is not a better pitcher than Wilson. Very much alike. Except Wilson appeared in meaningful games recently. Both erratic lefties , both statistically inflated by strikeouts … One is overpaid.

            • You’re treating it like they traded Wilson for Bastardo.

              Just because wilson is the more valuable asset doesn’t matter. Because they got cervellI for wilson. Not bastardo.

              • It could be worse.. At least we aren’t selling off Latos , Simon and , maybe Leake possibly still.. To keep Cueto.. He is great.. but what about pitching the rest of the week… Poor , Poor Reds…Ha !

        • At this point, i dont think the team minds a 1 year investment into a relief pitcher that is as good as Wilson. If they were strapped for cash i’d agree they need to go with the Wilson options, but if one can flip Wilson for a C and still get similar production, winning.

        • Sure…but its not simply Bastardo vs. Wilson. Its Barstardo+Cervelli vs. Wilson + J. Rodriguez. I’m ok with that…I think.

        • I did say that. They didn’t move Wilson cus they valued and sought Bastardo. They were scrambling for a Lefty.
          *If you see bucsws2014 post above , you will see what turned me 10 from liking Bastardo to dreading him in a crunch spot.

      • Actually I liked Bastardo until a deep statistical share by bucsws2014. I am not wasting my time regurgitating it for you. Look it up yourself , smartguy.
        I don’t always agree w him , but he’s pretty smart. One of the most informed opinions available.
        I was promoting a deal for Bastardo… His stats are propped up solely by K rates. He has the worst defect a bullpen arm can… He comes in and walks hitters… He isn’t worth 2+mill , or a 25 man spot. And he is not a fit , since Clint Hurdle thumbs his nose to concern for which side of the plate the hitter is on.
        I don’t know anything. I collect imput from those who do.

        • Funny part is, the guy you are now saying is one of the smartest posters here just argued with me that relying on projections is worthy of getting made fun of. You also inherently didnt answer any of my points and pointed to his arguments, which also dont disprove that these two pitchers are not “major” differences in talent or production.

          • Man , I am a jock. I hate stats. Worst part of being a yr round fan.. Me and the stat nerds…. Know what I see? Bringing him in a one run game in the 8th.. 4 pitch walk…. Think about how mental that makes us all…

        • What does His stats are propped up solely by K rates even mean?

          • I take the time to read all the posts and people take the time to post the info… You can go back and read it.

            • I’ve read the posts and statistically inflated by strikeouts, is nonsense, his stats are his strikeouts. Bastardo’s WAR was higher than Hughes, because the WAR cited is based on FIP and Bastardo had better FIP and pitched his games in more hitter friendly park.

              I don’t cared about strand rates from relievers because that isn’t a skill. Like I said Bastardo isn’t anything special but he is another option, who offers strikeouts, which the Pirates have lacked, options are usually good to have in the bullpen, Rodriguez wasn’t going to provide that this year.

              • It changes his WAR… He has a better War than more effective pitchers because he gets K’s

                • There are different version of WAR, RA-9 gives full credit to the pitcher for the defense and sequence, FIP WAR does not. By RA-9 WAR Hughes 1.0, Bastardo -0.2.

                  Hughes has value and is prefect for a team that wants ground balls and shifts, but expecting a ground ball pitcher to have .246 BABIP is a little suspect, and when those grounders find holes, see Hughes last year, I would think the ERA will rise not catastrophically but more in line with his FIP. Projecting for next season Bastardo’s strand rate will likely improve, he’ll be throwing to better receiving catchers and his walks could decline, thus ERA regress toward FIP.

              • He doesn’t like to throw strikes.

                • Jared Hughes; Zone% 37.7%, Bastardo 46.6%.

                  • Jared Hughes throws ONE pitch… That when he is commanding it best and is most effective falling out of the zone… It appears to be a strike , but its not.. Thats the trick..

                  • And the downward action makes him equally effective vs LH or RH hitting

                    • Hughes vs RHH: wOBA .281 / K%-BB% / 13.7% : vs LHH .314 / -0.3%

                      Bastardo vs RHH: wOBA .287 / K%-BB% / 16.9% : vs LHH .280 / 20.3%

                  • Point is , I don’t want Hughes throwing in the zone.

                  • I don’t know what level you played to , but you may have even seen that sort of pitch action in H.S . When commanded well…Looks exactly like the FB before that you were sure you could handle… Then wondering how ya end up runnin out a swinging bunt back to the box.

                    • There aren’t that many 6’7″ pitchers. Hughes is effective, solid fireman, but he isn’t as effective against LHH because he cannot throw the sinker inside.

                    • Dontcha think that is a mental or psychological block?
                      So hopefully could be overcome?

                    • Kno what else I don’t like about this comparison ?
                      Hughes doesn’t pitch in tight late inning spots too often , by design…
                      Bastardo will very likely be slotted the inning behind…

                    • I dont even wanna say this…
                      But I don’t even like Jared Hughes… I cringe when I see him coming.
                      However, he needs to attack LH hitters because he suits the way Hurdle likes to manage.

                    • Your stat there just told me why i feel that way about him..

                    • When the argument gets to “level played at back in HS” it, no malice or serious harm meant, really loses most peoples attention. What any of us did or saw in H.S really has no bearing on talking about major league athletes. I get the overall idea, but its so far removed from what these guys do and see that who cares?

                    • You actually have taken a tone that I can’t continue to engage unless in person. I don’t think men should take that sort of tone w one another unless they know they would be willing to do so face to face. Again , I’d be glad to by ya lunch..

                    • You tried to argue that your HS experience mattered and was of importance in talking ML baseball with someone. One could argue that is equally as condescending towards others. Apologies as i truly did not mean to offend, merely to point out that none of our HS experiences really matter at this point. I played college baseball, and i wouldnt use that as proof of anything when talking about what we do on here.

                    • I suggested anyone may have seen that sort of action at an advanced HS level… i.e , fall leagues , travel teams.. I played D-3 , and admittedly found myself over-matched by the abilities of the pitchers at that level. I did switch hit from HS on , to stay on the field vs LH pitching , But the sink action of any guy who threw any of the down-breaking pitches really helped prevent my avg from getting above Mendoza. You only needed to see that pitch used effectively from the batter’s box once , to see how a guy with one pitch could be so effective.

                    • I disagree that anyone who played D3 or any action high school or above has seen the same action on a sinker as that of a guy throwing a sinker in the minors. Same basic idea of a pitch, vastly different ability to throw that pitch.

                    • I think you are echoing my sentiment precisely…

                    • Just being exposed to the pitch at its most novice gives you a sense of how beyond imagination a guy like Hughes commands it. I imagine every pitch he throws , has the same arm action , release point and angle , and all appear to strikes until 59 & a half feet.. Then gone.. Again ,I realize I am using my imagination based off the fact I was always fooled by guys who didn’t even throw the pitch properly or w any efficacy.

                    • All things being relative… The guys I faced were not Jared Hughes, but they didn’t need to be , I had my hands full so much so with those guys , I don’t need to stand in the box vs Hughes to know it’s nasty . Even worse , I’d know I’d be down on 3 swings , and I knew approaching the plate he wasn’t gonna throw one in the strike zone…. 3 swings anyway.

        • Dude you are going by Bucsws2014??? Are you kidding me?? Smart guy LOL – this is the same guy I argued with for days on here around mid season last year – He wanted to dump Starling Marte out the door. This is a player who is not even yet in his prime years that has netted 4+ WAR each of the last two years all while being signed thru 2021 at a huge bargain. Yeah lets trade him LOL

          • Yep, I’ll own up to that one. I posted why in another thread yesterday. As I said, in hindsight that had more on how he was being used than anything. He’s not a leadoff guy, doesn’t have the skills for a leadoff guy yet until Harrison, he was the leadoff guy. I wanted a true leadoff guy and was willing to give up some defense for it. Heck, I was still ready to trade him as late as the AS break. But moving him down in the order changed everything.

            I was wrong on that one. But given Neal himself traded Grilli for Frieri, I think we’re even on the year 🙂

        • It’s not like K rates don’t matter. If he had both sterling K rates and sterling bb rates and sterling era, he would be Andrew miller, not antonio bastardo. You can pick apart any player to make them sound awful. But Bastardo is a perfectly reasonable 7th inning arm. Nothing more, nothing less.

          • I think what’s basically being said here is that weren’t all that enamored of Wilson last year and Bucs just paid an additional $2 million to get a guy who’s essentially the same, regardless of whether or not Wilson for Cervelli was a steal (and it was a good deal for Bucs).

            Oh those bases on balls…

            The one thing that does make Bastardo more palatable is that other than Yadi, the Cards can’t touch him. Nor can Rizzo, who’s tormented our pen. I just hope Bastardo gets used primarily in situations most beneficial to some grand plan of neutralizing LH power hitters.

          • I agree. They see something.. They have pursued him before. They were hot like this for Worley.. They have my full trust , especially when it comes to pitching.

      • Moreover , if Joely Rodriguez puts it together it will be electric. He is all or nothing… Gut feeling , and because I took an interest and have followed him, we will regret letting him go… He is a yr + away.

        • Which is a fair opinion, that isnt really shared by many smarter than you and i that do it for a living. Most have his ceiling as middle rotation, and reality as bullpen option.

          • Most agree that no one is like him. The most difficult guy in our system to project… Maybe an all star .. Maybe washing dishes.. The next 2 seasons will tell.

        • Joey Rodriguez and the words ” control ” and ” command ” do not even belong in the same paragraph, let alone sentence. And as for that 95-96 mph fastball, I watched him all last season at home, and never saw him break 92. And that was a rarity.

          • I know about his issues. And I take your report of his 2014 season as gospel. I know you saw him and it’s the same thing scouts have written as well. I don’t dispute the velocity disparity either.

            He is very inconsistent , and over broad blocks of time… like an entire season. That is the problem. He has also had sustained stretches that resemble this winter performance . ‘Stuff’ is the claim I make. He is 24 Left handed and he has often reached mid 90’s. The reason you never saw that velocity is because he was starting.

            True to form , he failed at the transition to the bullpen , other then the fastball jumping up and still moving. But I think he struggled in relief cus he didn’t wanna do it. He is a little older now and maybe w maturity and awareness of chances thinning , he will embrace the new role.

            I just feel w how thin we are in regard to true LH pitching organizationally there exist an obligation on our Pitch Doctors to invest more in his potential.

            More than anything, trading and paying for relief sucks. Moreover for a guy that had more appearances than innings. Does not fit our M.O

      • And the only comparison I draw with Wilson is 2 erratic lefties.. One cost us a good prospect and is really over paid and near FA.

      • Joely is a year away. Ultimately , I believe (bc I drove John & anyone else more informed then the masses crazy vetting him)that he will transition to the pen , and eventually be effective and utilized and valued in that role. He is only 24 and his fastball leaps from 88 to 95 when not starting.Yes , he is likely more than a year away,but this entire thread speaks to the rare species you have in a young lefty in the mid 90s and other project-able pitches.

        • So we traded a likely future relief option for a relief option now, which is inherently a good deal since his future production isnt assured and we get ML help now for it. He is a good player, but has been less than stunning overall and is the type of guy you move for pieces that help the ML team if you can.

          • He isn’t a rated prospect. I don’t damn the acquisition but I would absolutely not given this kid for Bastardo… I woulda said go fish… pick another.

            • U seem to emotionally invested in joely which skews ur perspective on the deal. We gave up a prospect we didn’t need for a relief pitcher we did need it helps us this year that’s key given joely wouldn’t and might never it’s not like they traded kingham for bastardo Ur complaing just to complain.

              • Again , I am emotionally invested in big young electric lefties throwing mid 90’s… Its a fetish.

              • Look on player pages.. Look under left handed pitchers.. We dont even have lousy ones… We dont have any !

                • Which really doesnt have any bearing on anything, since having LHP is not a necessity. Particularly with a future relief option, which is one area any team can find help from outside the organization and this team has done well with doing in that fashion.

          • I think this is the most accurate summation of the deal, Joely Rodriguez is currently listed has having a future value of 40, so below average. If people have a personal affliction for him fine, but that doesn’t increase his value.

            • I have no emotional investment…. I really like big young lefties who throw 95 and have electric stuff… I am emotionally enmeshed w big hard throwing kids.. I am.

              • U most certainly have an emotional investmeant it’s pretty clear

                • Yep… I do have a fetish for the rare species of all big hard throwing lefties… I am a whore for them.. Prob is , we are so incredibly thin on them.. Joely stood alone.. Now I have zero lefty fireballers to get hot for.

                • You can’t see why I feel strongly about this? Bastardo isn’t the problem… Emotion isn’t an issue… Rodriguez is lefthanded and throws very hard… Look at our LH pitching top to bottom.. It is pitiful. Unacceptable.. It is not the kid.. Its the value of his handedness , position and bonus, velocity

              • Your posts have quickly diminishing returns. Have a good evening.

                • To suggest I am emotionally connected to a S American kid pitching in S America derailed us boss… I shone a light on an absurd tactic to mask a loss of footing.

            • Humor me.. Look on player pages.. Under LH pitchers… He was the only one w any reasonable hope of seeing the majors…

  • check something else off the shopping list

  • I’m not confident Bastardo is the answer to the Bucs pen issues, but I’ll go along with it.

    Btw, Steamer thinks he gonna suck too :-p

    • Is 21 runs in 55 innings really that terrible? Wilson surrendered 30 in 60 innings last year. Also not sure Bastardo would give 7 home runs in PNC. And why I’m putting stock in reliever projections?

      • I just hate relievers who walk people.

        And making fun of Steamer projections in every response where appropriate is my leitmotif this week 🙂

        • Not a fan of walks either but for some of these high K relievers it is a bit of a trade off. The Pirates have collected low K, average BB, solid ground ball rate, RH relievers for a couple seasons now. I thought they lacked strikeouts as Grilli battled injuries, Bastardo isn’t anything special but he is another option which is usually good to have in the bullpen.

          • Also key to note he isnt expected to be a late inning, high leverage type guy. With Melancon, Watson, Holdzkom, and Hughes likely ahead of him, he fits nicely in the middle relief option area. Pretty decent bullpen as it stands right now, though maybe a bit lacking in a solid 7th man if one is skeptical of Holdzkom being legit.

  • I’m not terribly familiar with Bastardo, is he an upgrade over Wilson?

    • Ben.

      He can be very good with a high K rate (something like 11+ per nine innings) but he can walk a few batters too. Very good against both lefties and righties with a sub .200 Batting Average Against vs both.

      bb

      • Thanks Wabbit. That sounds pretty similar to Wilson so I’m happy with that.

        • I think he is better than Wilson. Sometimes he is unhittable.
          BB

          • Even better. Sounds like a good deal

          • I would agree that he is better than Wilson. Not by a wide margin though. I think they used Wilson to get a need and then filled the hole Wilson left with a guy who is a little better and who has been a little more proven in high leverage situations. Anytime you can deal someone out of your top 25 straight up for a needed piece I think you do it when you are trying to go far in the playoffs. Their pitching staff got a lot better the last two days.

  • It’s a good RP for a mid-level minor league pitcher…it’s a good trade for the Pirates. Helps now and doesn’t hurt the future.

  • It’s a fair deal: average middle reliever for a prospect who still has upside but took a step back this year. Although, Joely did figure something out before the AFL and has been very impressive the last couple months. A few Philly scouts were probably in attendance for his Dominican and Fall league games.

    • Yeah. You just get named a “Top Prospect” in the AFL and boom, you’re gone.

      • Do you like Joely ? It is a loaded question , I know.
        I see him as a reliever , even though he has had a difficult time with the transition , in small samples. I base that on the explosion in his velocity when not starting , and this has been as promising as a fall/winter a guy can have.. It looked like a turned corner , and sustained as long as winterball allows.

        • I think ya have to be concerned that we may have traded away a guy who is putting it together and who has a substantial upside in exchange for a very average RP who we may well have for only one year. Haven’t the Phillies had a reputation recently of wanting too much for their players thus keeping them from making trades? They may have just gotten too much for one of their players. Bastardo just turned in an era last year that was substantially higher than the Pirate bullpen’s era last year (and many folks on this site weren’t happy with the way the Pirate bullpen performed last year). The AFL “Top Prospect” team is generally legit. Rodriguez made it. McCutchen made it a few years ago. By way of counter example, Glasnow didn’t make it this year and Hanson didn’t make it when he played in the AFL. Rodriguez’ performance in the DWL is probably even better than what he did in the AFL. The story bucsws2014 posted is an eye opener (to paraphrase the title of the story): http://m.pirates.mlb.com/news/… (see his post above for an active link to the article). Hopefully, the Pirates will prove me wrong to be worried, but IMO there are some legitimate reasons to question this trade. On the other hand, he does seem to alternate better and worse years – maybe we’ll catch a better year in 2015 or Searage, et al, will make him a better pitcher.

          • I think you are spot on.. Moreover, look at player pages… Count the LH pitchers, top to bottom. None of them remaining will be major league pitchers… It is a very bad oversight… One which makes moving Rodriguez unacceptable.

          • I am being beaten like a redhead stepchild over this too…

            • Yeah, watch out for the crowd psychology. It can be brutal. Hang with ’em…

              • I did. I was already aware of this disparity and the Joely’s show this winter. I don’t debate if I don’t know . I knew they were finished when they suggest they can’t discuss this w me because I am clearly emotionally invested in this Pitcher.
                I have a fetish for Lh’s that hit 95 and have 3 other projectable pitches… Especially when we have only one.

                • Well, the Pirates sent him to the AFL because they saw some potential. All the coaches in the AFL who voted J R (ahead of Glasnow) as one of the 22 best prospects in the league clearly saw some significant potential. He’s probably pitching better in the DWL now than any other Pirate pitcher in winter ball. He has assembled some credentials – there was a lot to like about him. The Pirates just spent quite a bit of money to get a left handed starter back on the team – hopefully, we won’t have to regret letting J R go.

  • Trade makes sense, we need the arm now.

  • I am not thrilled with this, solely because Bastardo is one year removed from free agency. He is a good RP, who has five consecutive years of FIP of 3.30 or better. But I don’t see one year of him being worth losing a good pitching prospect. If he had two or three years left, then I’d be OK with it.

    • I’d agree if this were a couple years ago. But we can’t keep only building for the future. Eventually the future has to become the present.

    • The reason why getting guys with multiple years of control in the past (like Wandy Rodriguez) was that the team wasn’t accctuaallyyyy that good yet. Wandy would both help in the off chance that that team stayed competitive that year, and for future years.

      However, the price to acquire him also was reflected in those extra years of control he had. Granted, those players didn’t become anything. But Cain, Grossman, and Owens was a pretty big deal back then.

      Now that the team is actually good, 1 year contracts are fine as long as the price to get him was appropriate. Because the team is actually competitive.

      I guess what i’m trying to say is… that whether it was this deal for 1 year of Bastardo… or 3 Joelys for 3 years of Bastardo… doesn’t really matter anymore. they can just trade another Joely next year if they really need to.

    • I’d like to see them extend Bastardo right away but I doubt that will happen.

  • Totally finevw this one. JRod is about 6th or lower on their MILB starting prospect list. Good pickup if you stink which applies to Phillies.

  • Great deal

  • If Ruben’s asking price is reasonable, NH should go after Bastardo. I don’t like the idea of trading Snider though; he may be needed in RF in case Polanco struggles.

  • I would much rather see them go after Jerry Blevins who is rumored to be available. Despite an ERA of 4,87 last year he had an FIP of 2.77. He could be a buy low guy.

  • Interesting comparison to Hughes. Bastardo and Hughes had same IP, same # of HRs, BABIPs roughly similar. Bastardo K’s are >2x Hughes and walks are almost 2x Hughes. Bastardo had a LOB more than 10% lower (worse) than Hughes. Both had same xFIP, though Bastardo’s ERA was 2x Hughes and Hughes’ FIP was 90 points higher.

    Yet Hughes gets a -0.4WAR while Bastardo gets a +0.7. Seems it’s all about Ks vs GBs as Bastardo had a 30.2 GB% vs Hughes 64.6%. The whole “three true outcomes” thing. And I’m not convinced that makes a ton of sense with relievers who walk a lot of folks.

    I dunno about this. I hate walks from relievers. Absolutely hate ’em.

    Two guys I’d like to see on board: Dan Otero and Dominic Leone. Probably nil chance of getting either.

    • Really good perspective … I don’t want any trade for relief pitching.. Like you say , are we gonna get anything we really value w/o feeling violated in the swap?

  • Hopefully this does not happen. There is already one too many PED users on the team.

  • I would trade Mathiesen for Bastardo in a nano second, but I suspect that won’t get it done….as for Garcia for Bastardo, I hate giving up someone with the potential of Garcia, but the trade would be worth consideration….

    • I actually think Garcia would be a guy to trade. Tim pointed out just how unlikely it is that a hitter with Garcia’s brutal K rate in the low minors would make it to the big leagues… it’s ridiculous. Hate trading anything for relievers but NH seems hell bent on it so.

  • The Red Sox were talking to the Phillies about swapping Bastardo for their 13th ranked prospect. The equivalent of that in our organization would be Willy Garcia or Wyatt Mathisen…That’s a swap that I would make.

    • Def Mathisen . He was a reach as a catcher and I have doubts about him to deliver corner inf offensive production. Garcia is a rare species in today’s baseball , especially in our organization . The lack of power in the game , more so in our ranks keep his value , in spite of his SO problem.

      • Problem is we cant really afford to give away any of our corner IF options, since Wyatt is literally the best option we have for future 3Bmen. All reports i have read are that he has taken to 3B well, so it stands to reason they should like to keep him around since they are void of any other decent 3B prospects.

        • According to Tim last night we have a surplus of 1stbase depth, so it’s just 3rd. Plus, a good bat plays at 3rd. No telling out of Jacoby Jones, Cole Tucker , Dan Gamache , who can or is forced to slide over.

          • I fundamentally disagree with the insane idea that having 1B depth means we have 3B depth. It takes far more skill defensively to play 3B, particularly if you have no experience. A good bat plays at 3rd, but not with bad defense. Cole Tucker is the only one you listed that profiles as an above placement level player at this point.

            • I brought up 1st base because you did chief . You said we have a shortage of corner infielders.

              • While clearly going forward to mention 3B multiple times as well as discussing a prospect that plays 3B. Apologies for not saying 3B every time i reference corner IFers.

    • More good news is Boston’s 13th isnt equivalent to our 13th..

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