Bastardo Traded to Pirates

Antonio BastardoThe Phillies announced their first official trade of the offseason this afternoon about an hour after reports surfaced Jimmy Rollins is headed to the Dodgers.

The Rollins trade is not official yet.

But left-hander Antonio Bastardo is headed to the Pirates for Minor League left-hander Joely Rodriguez. Bastardo, who will become a free agent following next season, became expendable with the emergence of young left-handers Jake Diekman and Mario Hollands.

Rodriguez, 23, had a relatively pedestrian Minor League career over six seasons in Pittsburgh, but he has come on lately. He made the Arizona Fall League’s top prospects team this year, going 3-0 with a 2.38 ERA in seven starts. He also is 1-0 with a 1.38 ERA in three appearances (two starts) in Winter Ball in the Dominican Republic.

The Pirates had been considering Rodriguez as a candidate for next season’s rotation or bullpen.

“He’s kept coming on, and has shown his best velocity in Winter Ball,” Pirates general manager Neal Huntington said Tuesday. “We’ll see if he can sustain it and continue to move forward.”

Rodriguez went 6-11 with a 4.84 ERA in 30 games (21 starts) this year with Double-A Altoona, so the Phillies must consider his recent surge encouraging.

“He wasn’t the same guy in Spring Training, then had some early challenges in Double-A, but then continued to get better and better,” Huntington said.

MLB.com already has moved Rodriguez to 19th on the Phillies’ Top 20 prospects list.

Bastardo went 5-7 with a 3.97 ERA in 67 appearances this season. He has a 3.72 ERA in 275 career appearances. Major League Baseball suspended him 50 games in 2013 for violations relating to its Biogenesis investigation.

1 Comment

Not a bad grab for a lefty reliever. Nice work Ruben.

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