The Philadelphia Phillies have claimed right-handed pitcher Juan Nicasio from the Pittsburgh Pirates on Thursday afternoon. Nicasio was placed on irrevocable waivers by the Pirates earlier this week, which meant that they would lose him to any team that claims him. A player put on revocable waivers doesn’t need to be sent to the team that claims him. That’s usually done with a trade in mind, meaning if the trade is worth it, then you get rid of the player.
The Phillies claiming Nicasio makes very little sense in that they are in the same situation as the Pirates. Neither team has a playoff shot and Nicasio is a free agent at the end of the season. It’s possible that they may be planning to trade Nicasio on their own, although they needed to give up a player on their 40-man roster (Brock Stassi) to acquire Nicasio, who has very little trade value at this point. If their plan is to just keep him for a month, then it’s an extremely odd move on their part.
Whatever their motives, it matters little to the Pirates, who now have an opening on their 40-man roster and more innings available for young pitchers in September. Neal Huntington mentioned on Sunday that there were going to be limited innings available, when asked about Nick Kingham getting a shot with the Pirates this month. He is out of options going into next year, so you would hope that the Pirates give these extra innings to the right players, with Kingham being one of those players.
Tim Williams wrote a lot more on the Nicasio situation here yesterday.
Huntington issued the following statement after the claim:
:We took the unusual step of placing a quality person and pitcher in Juan Nicasio on outright waivers for a variety of reasons. Given our recent record and regression in the standings, we intend to give the higher leverage innings to other pitchers that may or will impact our 2018 club. We acknowledge the minimal amount of money saved by making this move, however, as a result of our decision and Juan’s pending free agency at the end of the season, we felt it appropriate to attempt to move Juan to a better situation for him.
“We recently requested trade waivers on Juan and he was claimed by a playoff caliber club that indicated to us their primary motivation was to block us from being able to trade Juan elsewhere and that they were not willing to give us more than very marginal value in return if we chose to trade Juan to them. Rather than help a direct competitor and recognizing the difference in claiming order between trade and outright waivers, we chose to take the chance to see if by placing Juan on outright waivers he would end up with a different playoff contender, preferably one in the American League.
“We appreciate all that Juan has done for our team and our organization. We wish him the best.”