Antonio Bastardo, one of the more under-discussed potential trade chips on the Philadelphia Phillies roster, has been drawing interest from multiple teams. CSNPhilly.com’s Jim Salisbury hears that the Kansas City Royals, Detroit Tigers, Pittsburgh Pirates, and Toronto Blue Jays are all in the mix and have had scouts in attendance for recent games.
The Royals are believed to have heavy interest in Bastardo. Salisbury notes that the Tigers have also been “keeping an eye” on Jonathan Papelbon as well.
The 28 year old Bastardo has developed into a solid part of the Phillies’ bullpen in recent years. This season he’s made 44 appearances, posting a 3.27 ERA and 1.114 WHIP in 44.0 IP. Lefties are hitting just .140/.279/.340 against him, but he’s also limited righties to a mere .175/.283/.243 clip. He’ll have one more year of arbitration after this season before reaching free agency.
Bastardo is a rare mix of cost-affordable, productive, and left-handed which means he likely won’t come cheap. Other teams are also bound to have interest. The Atlanta Braves, for one, are known to be looking for a left-handed reliever in a market that also includes Andrew Miller and James Russell. The Phillies don’t need to move him, but have so far been limited in making moves elsewhere due to lengthy contracts and/or a lack of production on the field.
Kansas City’s stern interest is notable. The Royals are not expected to make a major move before the deadline. There is an apparent hesitancy to spend any more money. Even though Bastardo’s $2 Million salary is small the Royals still may insist on making another move first to free up some additional financial wiggle room.