We heard earlier this week that the Pittsburgh Pirates had a scout in attendance to watch A.J. Burnett last week. According to Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly, they’re also one of the teams who have been connected to left-handed reliever Antonio Bastardo. Salisbury also mentions the Royals, Tigers, and Blue Jays as other teams who have had scouts watching the reliever.

It seems like all of these teams are watching a lot of players in Philadelphia, and not just one specific person. As far as relievers go, Bastardo seems more appealing than Papelbon. He’s only making $2 M and is under control through the 2015 season. Meanwhile, Papelbon is making $13 M a year this year and in 2015, and has a vesting option for $13 M in 2016, which is guaranteed with 55 games finished next year, or 100 between 2014-15. I really don’t see the Pirates going after Papelbon, so Bastardo makes sense.

It’s interesting that they’re being connected to a left-hander. Jon Morosi connected them to Oliver Perez of the Diamondbacks, but that might have just been due to the past affiliation. If they’re going after a lefty, that either means they’re looking for a third lefty in the pen, or they’re looking for an upgrade over Justin Wilson, who has a 4.86 ERA this year, but a 3.52 FIP.

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  1. Does anyone know this Bastardo’s splits? Pirates don’t have that ‘left-handed specialist’ so if he fits that profile, this would be a great move. With what the Tigers gave up for Soria, I say ‘no thanks’ to those kind of bullpen additions… depth guys like Bastardo or other available relievers makes much more sense. Right now, in terms of reliability in ‘leverage situations’, the Bucs bullpen pecking order is (IMHO):
    Watson, Melancon, Hughes, Wilson, Frieri, Gomez, Pimentel. Frieri is showing some good signs, so an acquisition like Bastardo would probably jettison Gomez to DFA, Pimentel to CL, or Wilson to Indy. That’s ok by me.

  2. Why should the number of lefties in the pen even matter? It’s not like they have some astronomical number of lefties there already. It should boil down to who is the best reliever

  3. Bastardo is a guy who could likely help us, but its always a matter of at what cost?? What would it take, in prospects I assume, to get him? And, given that cost, does it make more or less sense to call up Oliver and see what he can do as a LH in the bullpen?

    Personally, I think we need more help from the right side in the bullpen, than the left side. Watson is Watson, and I expect Wilson to turn it around down the stretch – assuming he is okay physically.

  4. Felix Doubront is a name I think we might hear about sooner than later connected to the Pirates.

  5. Or they possibly want a LHP reliever for this year and next year as well in the event they switch Wilson or Watson back into a SP.

  6. Maybe they just want as many quality relievers for when rosters expand as possible.

    Send down Hughes or Wilson for now, and bring him back up on 9-1. After all, what good does expanding the rosters really do if you’re throwing out guys like Josh Wall and Wirfin Obispo?

    but yeah i guess come playoff time they’d have to cut a useful player off the active roster or have injury.

    • IMO Wall or Obispo has more value to the Pirates than most of these middle relievers they’re looking at. Both guys seem to have been fixed up to some degree and another month in AAA should only help.

  7. Would they then send Wilson down until September if they got a lefty? Who makes the call to plunk Turner last night – Wilson or Hurdle? I was split on whether or not that should’ve been done. Not because of the HR right after. I just don’t understand sending a message like that unless it’s clearly intentional with Cutch. Or against the Reds in general.

    • Idk but if Hurdle did tell Wilson to do it, shouldn’t he have put someone like Pimentel or Gomez in so they wouldn’t have a good pitcher be ejected?

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