A week ago the Pirates waived reliever Juan Nicasio. It was a strange move, as he has been pretty dang effective this year. Pirates GM Neal Huntington explained the move at the time as a strategic one, aimed at both moving on from Nicasio, who is not in the Pirates’ 2018 plans due to his impending free agency while keeping him away from a “direct competitor,” if he was simply released or dealt after being claimed on revocable waivers. On outright waivers teams with bad records can claim him for nothing, so it was less likely that he’d go to a good team. He ended up being claimed by the Phillies.
So much for that plan, because now the Phillies have traded Nicasio to one of the Pirates’ “direct competitors”
Nicasio is still a free agent after this season, so he can go anywhere. But it’s hard to see how this is not the outcome Neal Huntington claimed he was trying to avoid when he let Nicasio go.
In any event, the Phillies get send infield prospect Eliezer Alvarez back from the Cardinals. Nicasio can’t pitch for the Cardinals in the playoffs if they make it, but he can certainly help them get there. I’m sure Pirates fans are pleased that he’ll help them along.