Juan Nicasio Claimed off Waivers by the Phillies
The Pittsburgh Pirates lost relief pitcher Juan Nicasio via waivers on Thursday afternoon
Two days after the Pittsburgh Pirates placed right-handed relief pitcher Juan Nicasio on irrevocable waivers, he is no longer a Pirate. Today, the Philadelphia Phillies claimed Nicasio adding him to their roster. Other than approximately $600,000 in salary relief the Pirates will get nothing in return.
Juan Nicasio being placed on irrevocable waivers was a strange move. Nicasio has had a great season out of the Pirate bullpen and the free agent to be should have been able to net something in return via trade. If the Pirates could not get anything in return for Nicasio, they should have just kept him through the end of the season.
In 65 games for the Pirates this season Juan Nicasio pitched 60 innings. He allowed just 49 hits and 4 home runs. He struck out 60, and owned a 2.85 ERA and a 3.00 FIP.
His 1.2 fWAR was the second highest in the Pirate bullpen behind just Felipe Rivero.
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With Juan Nicasio now in Philadelphia, this opens the door for young Pirate relievers to log more innings in September. A.J. Schugel, Dovydas Neverauskas, and Edgar Santana will all have an expanded role in 2018. With Nicasio now in Philadelphia, that expanded role can begin now.
As for the Phillies, claiming Juan Nicasio was an odd move. The Phillies are in last place in the National League East and in no need for immediate bullpen help. With Nicasio set to become a free agent, he will only be in Philadelphia for a month.
To be honest, the Phillies claiming Nicasio is even more had scratching than the Pirates placing him on irrevocable waivers.
Regardless of why Juan Nicasio was placed on irrevocable waivers, it is a bad look for the Pirates and bad PR. This appears to be nothing short of the Pirates dumping a very small salary amount instead of getting an extra month out of one of their best bullpen arms.