Phillies, Antonio Bastardo avoid arbitration, agree to one year, $1.4 million contract

Hunter Martin

The lefty reliever's new deal for 2013 also includes performance bonuses

The Phillies have agreed to a one year, $1.4 million deal for 2013 with left handed relief pitcher Antonio Bastardo, who filed for salary arbitration this week.

The deal also includes award bonuses.

I wrote pretty much everything I needed to write about Bastardo in last fall's "Exit Interview," excerpted below.

The effects and variability of BAbip (Batting Average on Balls In Play), and a pitcher's ability to control same, are still debated, but there's little to no dispute that Bastardo's freakish .179 BAbip in 2011 was unsustainable and would regress toward the league mean of .290-.300. And regress it did; Bastardo's .306 BAbip was significantly higher and contributed a great deal toward his worse "outcome" statistics. His ERA skyrocketed from 2.64 to 4.33, but the advanced ERA-based metrics were virtually the same or even better in 2012: FIP was nearly identical (2011: 3.30, 2012: 3.34), his xFIP was significantly lower (3.56 down to 3.18 in 2012), as was his SIERA (2.93 to 2.47 in 2012).

Also, unlike 2011, where a dreadful September turned a potentially historic season into a merely great one, Bastardo had one of his best months of 2012 in September, striking out 20 of the 44 batters he faced and only issuing four walks. Overall on the season, Bastardo's strikeout average of 14.02 per nine innings was among the best marks in baseball for a reliever, and his 36.2% strikeout rate was sixth best in baseball among pitchers with 50 or more innings.

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