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The Pirates just made a really weird move with Juan Nicasio

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The Pittsburgh Pirates have placed reliever Juan Nicasio on irrevocable outright waivers. These are not the trade waivers you hear about so much in August, from which a player can be pulled back if claimed. On this sort of waiver move, once a team claims Nicasio, he’s theirs, for nothing but his current salary, which is a prorated $600,00o or just above the league minimum.

While outrighting someone who stinks is fairly common, Nicasio does not stink. Indeed, he’s been a pretty darn good reliever this year,  posting 2.85 ERA and 60/18 K/BB ratio through 60 innings. Closer Felipe Rivero is the only reliever on the Pirates who has had a better season, in fact.

Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette noted that it’s an odd move and asked the Pirates for comment. This is what he got:

“The waiver process — if enacted — is supposed to be a confidential process until it reaches conclusion,” Pirates general manager Neal Huntington said in a text message. “If there is something to report at that time — it will be reported.”

The mystery deepens. Until told otherwise, I’m gonna assume that Nicasio was asked to house sit for Huntington on the condition that he have NO WILD PARTIES. He threw a kegger, though, and Huntington’s prize Faberge egg was destroyed. Now he’s gone. Yep, that’s probably it.

Sheldon Ocker named winner of the 2018 J.G. Taylor Spink Award

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The Baseball Writers Association of America has named Sheldon Ocker the winner of the 2018 J.G. Taylor Spink Award. He will be honored with the award that is presented annually to a sportswriter “for meritorious contributions to baseball writing” during Hall of Fame inductions in Cooperstown on July 29.

Ocker began covering the Indians for the Akron Beacon Journal in 1981 and did so until 2013, when he retired. He was national president of the BBWAA in 1985 and served as chair of the Cleveland Chapter 11 times. He named Ohio Sports Writer of the Year in 1997 and 2000 by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association.