Oakland Athletics’ Bullpen: Five Potential Offseason Targets

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Aug 4, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates relief pitcher Antonio Bastardo (59) pitches against the Chicago Cubs during the ninth inning at PNC Park. The Cubs won 5-0. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Pittsburgh Pirates, LHP Antonio Bastardo
29 years old, $3.1 million

For six years, Bastardo was a part of the Philadelphia Phillies organization and was nothing but consistent. The Dominican Republic native posted a 3.72 ERA over that time and had a knack for mowing down batters with a hard low-to-mid 90’s fastball and sweeping slider. This season he took his talents to Pittsburgh and has been doing much of the same. The only glaring area of concern is the number of walks (5.3 BB/9) that has climbed this year. Besides that he has held hitters to a .223 batting average against and has struck out 33 in 34.0 innings. A quality lefty is always great to have in a manager’s back pocket and this one might be able to come at a relatively low price.

At only 29 years of age, Bastardo is one of the younger relievers going onto the market. However, he may not draw a lot of attention. The reasons being he has been overshadowed for much of the year by the rest of the dominant Pittsburgh bullpen. Especially after their midseason trade for RHP Joakim Soria – who will be a highly sought after free agent this offseason – Bastardo has been placed in the back of the line. This could favor the A’s, as they need quality arms – lefties especially – and this southpaw would certainly help. If he hits the market without much leverage, Oakland should definitely look into acquiring his services.

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