New York Yankees acquire left-handed reliever Antonio Bastardo from the Pittsburgh Pirates for catching prospect Donny Sands (#26 prospect in Yankee’s system).
As mentioned earlier, the Yankees are trying to complete their bullpen. On one had the Yankees would love to acquire a big time arm to give them a dynamic back-end. However, on the other hand, the Yankees may have an internal candidate who can be useful in that 7th inning spot.
The Yankees do have reliever Tyler Clippard already under contract for next season. Just a few seasons ago Clippard was the top reliever available at the trade deadline. The two-time All-Star could be paired with the left-handed Bastardo to form solid 7th inning team.
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Obviously, the Yankees would play the match-up to determine who they would go with. Also, both are free agents at the end of the season which then would allow them to go after a bigger name next off-season when they have a more realistic shot at an American League East Championship.
On the other side of things, the Pittsburgh Pirates benefit in a couple of different ways. First, they trade away from a current logjam of left-handed relievers. Second, they dump an expiring contract of a reliever who is average. This would clear some money up to reallocate to maybe bringing in an effective fourth outfielder. Lastly, the Bucs get a solid prospect back at a position that is not very deep in the organization.
The Bucs need to clear one of their lefty relievers. Bastardo makes the most sense as he is a proven veteran, but is relatively expensive compared to the other Pirate lefties. Also, the Pirates could use a future catching prospect.
Sands was 8th round pick in 2015. His ETA according to MLB Pipeline is 2019. Francisco Cervelli’s contract expires that year. With the Bucs trading away Reese McGuire the only legitimate catching prospect left in the system in Elias Diaz, who is MLB ready. This trade is good on the Pirates side, and the Yankees get a solid reliever for a low price compared to the current market.