The New York Mets have agreed to sign left-handed relief pitcher Antonio Bastardo, Jon Heyman of MLB Network reported.
According to Robert Murray of Baseball Essential, the deal is a two-year pact worth $12 million.
Bastardo's average annual value of $6 million per season makes him one of the more pricey free agent relievers, putting him near Mark Lowe ($6.5 million AAV; two years) and Tony Sipp ($6 million AAV; three years).
For the Mets, Bastardo adds to an already-solid bullpen as the team hopes to recapture the National League East division title in 2016.
Along with closer Jeurys Familia, the Mets boast a bullpen that includes Addison Reed, Jerry Blevins, Carlos Torres, Hansel Robles, and Sean Gilmartin. As a unit, the bullpen had the 11th-best ERA in the Majors (3.48) and was worth 3.6 FanGraphs WIns Above Replacment (fWAR), good for 13th.
The 30-year-old Bastardo has spent most of his career pitching in the National League East. He spent parts of six seasons with the Phillies before moving on to the Pirates in 2015.
Bastardo posted a 2.98 ERA and a 64 to 26 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 57 1/3 innings pitched with Pittsburgh this past year.
For the reliever, $6 million a season definitely seems like a lot from New York. Though, per Murray's report, that may have been the going rate for Bastardo, as the Pirates offered him a two-year, $8 million deal that he ultimately rejected.
Relief pitching has struck gold this offseason, as teams try to emulate what the Royals did in Kansas City with their bullpen.
Only one relief pitcher on the free agent market had more than 25 saves last year (that was Greg Holland, who will miss 2016 with Tommy John surgery). Despite this, figures of $15 million or more were given to five relievers and five others, including Bastardo, made $10 million or more.
It's been a relief pitcher's market and Antonio Bastardo wins out, signing with the Mets on a $12 million pact.