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Pirates trade rumors: Free agent lefty market blocking potential Bastardo deal

Cincinatti Reds v Pittsburgh Pirates Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

UPDATE: The Indians just reached a deal with Logan.

Ken Rosenthal reported yesterday that potential trades of Antonio Bastardo have been delayed by the left-handed relief pitching still available on the free agent market. Jerry Blevins, Boone Logan and others are still available, which means teams can hope to sign one of those guys rather than dealing a prospect to the Pirates for Bastardo and agreeing to pay at least some of Bastardo’s $6.5 million 2017 salary. (Of course, the team most closely connected to Blevins right now is the Mets, and it would be pretty surprising if they wanted Bastardo back anyway.)

Rosenthal notes that the Pirates could potentially use savings from a Bastardo trade to make another acquisition. They’re running out of time to do that, with Spring Training approaching.

My guess is that the Bucs’ return for Bastardo will be minimal, with salary relief as the main objective. Of course, they only have Bastardo in the first place because the Mets somehow were willing to give him up in exchange for Jon Niese. It’s likely that most teams don’t view Bastardo as a high-value piece at this point, and the Pirates’ need for him is limited, with a ton of lefties available in their bullpen.