Pittsburgh Pirates: Three Relievers That Still Could be Traded

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Pittsburgh Pirates Nicasio
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Entering the 2017 Season

Entering the season, it seems Nicasio will be in a different role.  With no clear cut closer for the Pirates, Nicasio could find himself used in higher leverage innings, like the 7th, 8th, or 9th inning of games the Bucs are leading.  He should be able to handle this.  According to fangraphs, Nicasio pitched his best in high leverage situations during the 2016 season.  Fangraphs shows that Nicasio faced 32 batters in high leverage situations, and he held opponents to a .194 batting average, a .214 on-base percentage, and struck out 12 batters, while only walking one.  Nicasio should be moved from the long relief role and moved into a more high leverage situation role if he is kept.

Entering this season, Nicasio is up for his final year of arbitration.  Nicasio is up for a modest raise, according to MLBTR he is projected to received 4.6 million dollars.  That is lower than Tony Watson and Antonio Bastardo’s contract.  With that, he still is in his final year and could be dealt if the Pirates receive an intriguing offer.

Who are teams that could be interested in the hard throwing reliever?  First is the Dodgers.  The Dodgers converted Nicasio to a reliever where he found the best success of his career, the Dodgers saw it, and they could be intrigued to bring him back.  The Detroit Tigers found most of their struggles in their bullpen last season.  Nicasio would be an immediate upgrade over their current options.  Detorit seems to still be in win now mode, and has consistently seen their bullpen ranked in the bottom five over the last few years.  Obviously, other teams, that in general are looking for bullpen help, are the Yankees, Marlins, Nationals, Blue Jays, and Braves.