Phils, Bastardo avoid arbitration

Philadelphia Phillies' Antonio Bastardo during a baseball game against the New York Mets, Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2012, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

The Phillies won’t have to deal with any arbitration hearings when spring training gets underway next month. The team reached an agreement with its only arbitration-eligible player on Friday.

Antonio Bastardo and the Phillies avoided arbitration by coming to an agreement on a one-year, $1.4 million deal for the 2013 team, the team announced Friday. Bastardo’s new deal was among a flurry of new contracts announced early Friday, which was the day teams and players were scheduled to exchange arbitration salary figures if they could not come to an agreement.

The deal includes performances bonuses. It would appear to be a coup for the 27-year-old Bastardo, who earned $505,000 in 2012.

The veteran reliever emerged as a consistent, go-to, lefthanded threat out of the bullpen in 2011, when he went 6-1 with a 2.64 ERA, a 0.93 WHIP and 70 strikeouts in 58 innings. Bastardo held opponents to a .144 batting average in 2011, tops among National League pitchers with at least 40 innings of work.

But he struggled to find consistency in 2012, going 2-5 with a 4.33 ERA. Bastardo did finish the season strong, however: he had a 3.09 ERA in 31 games after the All-Star break and he struck out 39 of the final 88 batters he faced in the final 10 weeks of the season.

Bastardo figures to be the Phils top left-handed arm in the bullpen, behind closer Jonathan Papelbon and set-up man Mike Adams.