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Mets Morning News: Mets sign Antonio Bastardo, Nationals in on Cespedes

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The Mets bolstered their bullpen, while speculation about Yoenis Cespedes continued.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Meet the Mets

The Mets signed free agent left-handed reliever Antonio Bastardo. The deal is reportedly for two years and $12 million. After spending six seasons with Philadelphia, Bastardo was with the Pirates in 2015, where he posted a 2.98 ERA over 57.1 innings.

Amid speculation about the Mets and Yoenis Cespedes, Ken Davidoff asserted that the market for Cespedes is not shrinking, as some might believe. With Justin Upton and Chris Davis getting large deals, it would be unlikely for Cespedes to take a much smaller deal. And Ken Rosenthal reported last night that the Nationals are in on Cespedes.

Meanwhile, Mike Petriello argued that the Mets would be just fine without Cespedes due to the improvements made Juan Lagares at the end of the season. From August 1st on, Lagares' increased his average exit velocity from 91.5 to 94.5mph, along with his wRC+ from 70 to 121.

Steven Matz landed on Jonathan Mayo's list for top left-handed pitching prospects. Matz checked in at number three, behind the Rays' Blake Snell and the Dodgers' Julio Urias.

Around the NL East

Despite putting up respectable numbers in his rookie season, Thomas Bennett at Fish Stripes wondered if Justin Bour should be platooned in 2016. The left-handed Bour struggled mightily against lefties when given the chance.

At Federal Baseball, Patrick Reddington points out that Washington has no obvious spot for Cespedes in their outfield.

Ryan Howard could find himself in a part-time role in 2016. In 2015, he hit just .130/.178/.240 against left-handed pitchers.

Around MLB

Amidst a rebuilding phase, the Brewers could trade catcher Jonathan Lucroy. While he is coming off a disappointing 2015, he finished fourth in the National League MVP race only two seasons ago.

The Astros and Orioles are "looking at" right-handed pitcher Yovani Gallardo. Gallardo declined a qualifying offer from the Rangers after a season in which he posted a 3.42 ERA over 33 starts.

The Yankees avoided arbitration with pitcher Nathan Eovaldi. His one-year deal will be worth $5.6 million.

Veteran reliever Fernando Rodney signed with the Padres. The deal can be worth up to $7 million if Rodney hits certain incentives.

Yesterday at AA

We continued our countdown of the Mets top 25 prospects with shortstop Luis Carpio checking in at number six. As a 17-year-old in Kingsport, Carpio showed a mature approach that aided him in hitting .304/.372/.359.

Steve Schreiber imagined Jeff Wilpon's reaction to being asked about the Mets' finances on a daily basis.

This Date in Mets History

In 2002, the Mets were part of a three-team trade that saw 11 players switch teams. To begin, the Mets sent Benny Agbayani and Todd Zeile to the Rockies for Ross Gload, Craig House, and Alex Ochoa. Then, Ochoa, Lenny Harris, and Glendon Rusch were then dealt to the Brewers for Jeromy Burnitz, Jeff D'Amico, Lou Collier, and Mark Sweeney.