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Bastardo, Phillies nearing salary arbitration

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Left-hander Antonio Bastardo, the Phillies' lone player eligible for salary arbitration this offseason, was one of 133 players to formally file on Tuesday.

The 27-year-old is expected to be the Phils' primary southpaw setup reliever next season after posting a 4.33 ERA in 65 games in 2013. His most eye-popping statistic: 81 strikeouts in 52 innings pitched.

As a rookie in 2011, Bastardo had a 1.35 ERA through Sept. 2 before struggling in his last eight appearances, variously attributed to arm fatigue and tipping his pitches. Last year, he had stretches where he was dominant, but he was also inconsistent.

Players and teams will exchange salary figures on Friday. If no agreement is reached, hearings will be held between Feb. 4-20, and an arbitration panel will choose either the club's figure or the player's as a salary for the 2013 season.

Paul Hagen is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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