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The Pirates just made a really weird move with Juan Nicasio


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.

Dbacks outfielder Steven Souza injured his right shoulder last night

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Arizona Diamondbacks right fielder Steven Souza dove for a ball in a spring training game last night, missed, and ended up injuring his right shoulder.

It looked bad, too. Center fielder Jarrod Dyson stood over him, frantically waving to the dugout for a trainer as Souza kicked his legs in apparent pain. Souza held his arms awkwardly as he walked off the field. At the moment the Dbacks are calling it a right shoulder strain, but he’ll get an MRI on it today after which a more specific diagnosis will come.

If Souza is out for a while it’s a pretty big blow to Arizona’s 2018 plan. Souza was acquired to help cushion the blow of losing J.D. Martinez in free agency. While not the hitter Martinez is, Souza hit 30 homers in Tampa Bay last year, stood likely to at least match that in the more hitter-friendly confines of Chase Field and, of course, plays superior defense.

Potential replacements for Souza include moving David Peralta from left to right and inserting Yasmany Tomas in left or having fourth outfielder Dyson, or perhaps a platoon of Dyson and utilityman Chris Owings, handle right. Socrates Brito is another internal option.

Obviously the Snakes will wait to hear the results of the MRI before going too deeply into replacement plans, all the while hoping that Souza’s injury is far less serious than it appeared to be last night.