Another day, another part of the Pirates' 2015 bullpen gone -- Antonio Bastardo has agreed to a deal with the Mets. He's expected to get two years and $12 million, receiving the same average annual value as but one less year than fellow lefty reliever Tony Sipp, who got three years and $18 million from Houston earlier this offseason.
It's no surprise that the Bucs didn't win the bidding. They've never been a fan of expensive commitments for relievers, and I'm sure Bastardo's shortcomings -- like his consistently high walk totals and his fly ball tendencies -- were more than enough to convince them not to make him the exception.
Nonetheless, Bastardo was a valuable part of the Pirates' bullpen last season. He held lefties to a .139/.233/.215 line and was also effective against righties, meaning he fit Clint Hurdle's preference of having lefty relievers pitch full innings. Also, it might have just been happenstance, but Bastardo was very effective down the stretch, posting a 2.32 ERA while helping the Bucs chase the Cardinals.
It wasn't likely Bastardo was going to return in 2016, but he really helped last year, and he'll be missed, particularly since the Pirates didn't have a ton of great lefties lined up behind him. The Pirates got Bastardo last winter for the low cost of a now-nearly-forgotten pitching prospect, though -- if there's any lesson there, it's that it's possible to find good relievers without signing them to eight-figure deals.