The Pirates are interested in Phillies reliever Antonio Bastardo and starter A.J. Burnett, Jon Morosi writes.
Bastardo is a lefty, and if/when the Pirates acquire a reliever, I would think it would be more likely to be a righty, since they have two good lefties in Tony Watson and Justin Wilson. (They don't use either pitcher as a LOOGY, but I still wonder how much they like the idea of having three lefties.) Anyway, Bastardo racks up strikeouts but has a pretty high chew-your-fingernails factor, walking 5.1 batters per nine innings this year and giving up tons of fly balls -- he's like Wilson, but with fewer ground balls and less velocity.
That's not a bad pitcher to have, and it would be fine with me if the Pirates got him for the right price, especially since they can keep him fairly cheaply in 2015 as well. Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. is really erratic, so the Pirates might be able to get Bastardo without giving up a whole lot. Plus, "Antonio Bastardo" is one of the best names in professional sports. But I don't see him as a simple solution to the Pirates' relief issues.
Burnett, like Bastardo, is a guy I would want, but only at the right cost. Burnett's option situation next year is a complicated mess that will get more complicated the more starts Burnett makes down the stretch. (Way to go, Phillies.) And he's lost a full mile off his fastball. He's had recent success in Pittsburgh and was one of the National League's best starters last season, but as his age, at least a percentage of his decline this year is probably legitimate. I think he can still help the Pirates, but I wouldn't want them to give up much for him.