The New York Mets have already made a few roster additions during this off-season, and they just showed that they were not finished yet either. Recently, the team added pitcher, Antonio Bastardo, according to I Sports.
Bastardo had just hit the free agent market, and the Mets were not hesitant, trying to lock in a deal with him. They were able to finalize a deal that is reportedly for two years and worth up to $12 million, according to Amazin Avenue.
Although he may come a little pricey for a relief pitcher, it may all be worth it for the Mets. Although New York has some very strong starters, when they took a look at their bullpen, they realized that they had some work to do. Luckily for them, they had options to pick from on the market.
Bastardo was among one of those options, and they saw a future with him. He could play a unique role on the team too. Not only is Bastardo a strong reliever that can pitch well over 50 innings a season, but he is a left hander. He could work as a great set-up man in late innings for the Mets.
Also, the New York Mets did not have many left-handed pitchers in their bullpen last season. New York is hoping that Bastardo can change that for them soon though. He has shown his capability already with Philadelphia and the Pirates.
The lefty reliever has the numbers to prove his talent too. Last season with the Pirates, he dealt 57 innings, struck out 64 batters, and posted a 2.98 ERA, according to CBS Sports. Bastardo has been consistent in his seven-year career too. He may have the potential to be even more than just a mid-late game reliever though.
Prior to playing for the Pirates, Bastardo spent his first six seasons with the Phillies. In his time with Philadelphia, the 30-year-old even got some experience as a closer. In 2011, Bastardo saved eight games for Philadelphia.
His ability to close out games, could come as a huge bonus for the Mets. Although many relievers can pitch late innings, some struggle at closing games. Although, so far the Mets’ closer, Jeurys Familia has been able to stay healthy and consistent for the team, Bastardo is still valuable to them.
If Familia were to be injured anytime in the future, the New York Mets would not have to scramble around for a new closer. Bastardo could have the potential to take on that role for the team. Although the Mets may be unsure about their future with Yoenis Cespedes, there is one thing for sure. Bastardo will have a future with the Mets.
Commentary by Cody Macleod