There have already been two right-handed relievers on this list. It’s time for a lefty. Antonio Bastardo has not been quite as consistent throughout his career as O’Day and Soria, but when he’s on, the 30-year-old is lights-out. Bastardo has had three seasons with an ERA below 3.00, but also had two with an ERA over 4.00. Control is also an issue for Bastardo, as he has walked 4.3 per nine over his seven-year career. The potential is there, though. Bastardo has struck out 11.0 per nine for his career, and has limited left-handed hitters to a .178 batting average in 491 plate appearances with 154 strikeouts. Bastardo is also uniquely familiar with the NL East, having spent the first six years of his career with the Philadelphia Phillies.
For the Mets, an interesting course of action would be to sign one of the right-handers as well as Bastardo. Bastardo could be used in a specialist role instead of being asked to throw whole innings. He made only $3.1 million last year while pitching for the Pittsburgh Pirates, and did not do anything spectacular this season to warrant a huge raise. A bullpen of Bastardo, O’Day or Soria, and Familia, with a little bit of Sean Gilmartin, Reed, and Mejia thrown in there could be unhittable coming in after the outstanding rotation.
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