Bastardo agrees to $1.4 million deal

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Philadelphia Phillies relief pitcher Antonio Bastardo (37) delivers a pitch against the Baltimore Orioles during a MLB baseball game, Saturday, June 9, 2012, in Baltimore. The Orioles won 6-4 in 12 innings. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

Before they exchanged salary arbitration numbers Friday, the Phillies and reliever Antonio Bastardo came to an agreement on a one-year deal worth $1.4 million.

The deal includes award bonuses and represents an $895,000 raise for the 27-year-old lefthander who figures to play a major role in manager Charlie Manuel's bullpen in 2013.

Bastardo was among the best lefthanded relievers in baseball two seasons ago when he went 6-1 with a 2.64 earned run average. He also converted  eight of nine save opportunities.

The Phillies are hoping Bastardo returns to that form in 2013 after he struggled to consistently throw strikes last season.

His problems actually started in September of 2011. After his first two appearances in September of that season, he had a 1.35 ERA. In 73 appearances since then, he has a 5.40 ERA and has walked 33 batters in 56 2/3 innings.



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