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.”

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109 COMMENTS

  1. So why the HELL wasn’t he traded before the deadline. This kind of crap is inexcusable, he had real value before the deadline…….unbelievable……..

  2. This kind of says this wasn’t about money. If it was just about money they would have taken the offer.

  3. I wonder who the direct compeditor was? Sounds like something the Cubs tried to pull. NH has been willing to trade with Brewers.

  4. It will be so funny if the Phillies trade him for a decent prospect. Especially if they trade him to the team the Pirates wouldn’t trade with.

  5. Laughing at Tims twitter comment how this poor FO will never gain trust no matter how many good things they do. They had plenty of trust going into 2016 and then proceeded to start pissing it away on niese and vogelsong. And at exact same time tim was saying he trusted the FO because they had earned it. He was right, but they blew it over the last 20 months.

    This is a relatively inconsequential move. The problem is there have been way too many stupid mistakes that weren’t nothing moves.

  6. Losing Nicasio is not the issue for me and probably most fans. It is the lack of initiative by this organization to put a quality product on the field, especially after last season’s pitching debacle. They went the whole season without a fourth outfielder! WTF?! It was a problem prior to the Marte suspension and Polanco injuries. They did nothing. Diaz will be past his prime before he gets long-term MLB service time. Why? Because Stewart calls a better game….on a team that never looked like a contender. It’s a joke.

      • Agreed….As Diaz has played more…i’ve noticed more defensive issues in comparison to when he played sparingly earlier in the season. Catcher isn’t an easy position and so can take longer sometimes to get ready.

  7. So did the AL get first dibs on irrevocable waivers? Or did league not matter and the point is that a team like the Rangers could have claimed him before, say, the Cardinals?

      • I had thought that, but I’m trying to understand why Huntington thought there was a chance he’d get to the AL. Maybe simply because the team claiming him on revocable waivers (almost had to be the Cards or Brewers) would just let him go now that there was no potential benefit to the Pirates. I guess that makes sense–the Cards or Brewers originally blocked him so that the Pirates wouldn’t get a decent prospect from another contender. Now with no potential for that to happen, Huntington figured Nicasio would get through to the contenders.

        • sounds more like the Cubs…claiming him and preventing him from going to The Brewers/Cards/Dodgers IMO and then offering a bag of balls which they know we won’t take.

  8. Hey maybe they want to field the best team they can and Nicasio is better than some bum currently in their pen. You know, play to win the game.

    Wish my team had that philosophy.

  9. How rich of folks who’ve spent years indignantly defending Huntington over “process” now trying to mitigate this by saying it’s insignificant.

    Good “process” would’ve been to either commit to the 2017 club by doing literally anything other than sitting on their asses all spring or having the guts to sell at the non-waiver deadline, when they could’ve kept themselves out of this entire waiver mess. Huntington brought this on himself, and now bears the embarrassment.

    And before I hear anything else about how they both got Nicasio for “free” *and* how he wasn’t worth anything in a trade, look at that irony! Nicasio was the 22nd most valuable reliever in all of baseball over the past two years with the Pirates. Another “free” bullpen arm to replace him in return sure as hell would benefit the 2018 club.

    • After the last 2 years I’m not sure who is more distraught. True Pirates fans or the Huntington fanboys.

      • This whole “fanboy” thing lowers the discussion level. Do you want to be able to debate decisions/perspectives or do you want to simply belittle those who disagree with you?

    • I was an NH fan and defender for the longest time, but his strategy of just trying to straddle the line between contending, and rebuilding. Veterans, and youth, is maddening. He lacks the heart to commit one way or the other

    • Do you believe for one second that Nicasio- he of a 2.69 FIP (or thereabouts ) at the deadline had zero trade value as Tim continues to intimate? I’m not saying he brings back a 55 FV. But I think it’s highly likely he brings back a semi-interesting lottery ticket AT THAT POINT in time.

      But NH wanted to straddle the line and not commit to either buying or selling and this is what happens. Fine- but don’t tell me Nicasio had zero value at the deadline.

        • What did you think about the last sentences of that article ? It really baffles me as to just what the Phillies were up to also ( ? ) Damned near looks to me like they had an agreement that they would claim him and screw whoever the Pirates were out to burn.

          • Ha, yeah, I mean I think it’s definitely a surprise but I’m not sure there’s really much to it.

            They seem to value having a handful of good veterans around the young guys in their rebuild – Neshek, Helickson, Kendrick – and their pen pretty much has Neris and nothing else right now.

            Their line of thinking may be as simple as saying why *not* add a successful veteran at almost no cost, even if for just a month. Guys share grips, mechanics, sequences all the time, you never know when something like that will pay off.

            At least that would be my response if I were them, even if it’s still a little strange.

            • They used to call Adam Morgan the Human White Flag when he entered the game. They’ll throw Benoit type money at someone again in 2018. Might as well be Nicasio next year.

  10. Disgusting. The obvious nonsense in the statement alone is insulting enough. No real explanation except a nearly insignificant money grab. We’ve heard over and over how financial flexibility will help. Well, I think this really refers to more money for a ultra rich owner. They pinch pennies while undermining a great organization.

    • No matter which way you look they failed whether they were trying to save money and build for the future or contend. My argument is that if they really wanted to save money why didn’t they trade him at the deadline and save another month of salary and get something back in return dang I would take $60.00 towards the intl bonus pool. Brault was ready months ago. Nova has needed a dl stint for weeks and Kingham is ready. Not only do they lose out on saving money in the present but the super combo of holding back the development of their future. Or alternatively they try to put a team together that has a chance to win maybe it’s a novel idea. If Nicasio had minimal value they should have made a run at Neshek, they should have picked up a lefty infielder, and they can still pick up srod kontos if they want. I think they lost the most by pretending to contend and sitting pat. Unfortunately we didn’t do much – if you don’t want to listen to me take it from Cutch.

      • Told Tim at least 3 times yesterday that Nicasio had the same numbers as Swarzak who brought back considerably more than “nothing”.

        This narrative he was a middle reliever with zero value is comical.

        • I’m done with that argument fangraphs does side with us but I’m going to hold to my thesis that $60.00 towards the intl pool was at least doable.

        • Or they just lose all sense of credibility with fans because the indecision will magnify the failures. I can deal with their payroll speaking from my own personal opinion. But I expect them to do what it takes to address if they have to trade their big names and try to be back in 4yrs so be it. I can’t take a decade of what they’re doing now. If they take a team like this into next year I’d be royally upset if I was Cutch and I bet he will be but I hope all of us are pleasantly surprised going into April next year.

            • Honestly I’m agnostic on whether they’re cheap. A big part of my interest is seeing the pirates compete in spite of limitations.

                • I accepted their budget to be 100m I think it requires them to make crazy decisions when it looks like they’re on track to go over. If I had to choose between Happ Morton and Walker we would all pick Happ every time. They ended up with Niese had they ended up with Happ may never have went after Jaso – no matter how you slice it they would have spent the same.

      • At the regular Deadline, the Pirates still had a shot i think so why would you trade one of your better relievers? After that, they had to go through the process of revocable waivers.

        “Nova has needed a dl stint for weeks” – You can’t just put a player on the DL without the players consent. So if Nova says nothing hurts, you can’t do it. If the Pirates did, the MLB Players Association would file an appeal or something of that sort.

        • I loved the guys on the team at the deadline but there was no way they be able to make a real push. At some point it had to be obvious to the fo that they weren’t going to add anyone trade Nicasio bring in the young guys. I think there’s a good chance Nova agrees otherwise Jamo or Kuhl can take a breather

        • That isn’t true at all. They don’t need the players consent to put a guy on the DL. The MLBPA can not appeal a player going on the DL. All they could do is file a grievance and those never lead anywhere. Neither the team nor the league is suspending the player so there is nothing to appeal.

      • Is that the same McCutchen who went totally back to sleep during the month of August for the 3d straight season ?

        • He definitely had his worst month of the season. My only point was that he had no problem calling an absence of contender moves.

  11. From an article on Philly.com:

    “The Phillies added righthanded reliever Juan Nicasio on Thursday afternoon as they try to piece together enough arms to finish the season.”

  12. This is hilarious. Spite the Nats. Unfortunately bucs need to make moves that allow Atlanta and the Mets win more games not strengthen their competition.

  13. As long as John Jaso is playing every day and batting 4th, I will be pleased. That way, the Pirates will be in better position to sign him to an 8 year 120 mil contract. I do admit that the Yankees may toss a 12 year 250 mil contract out there. Sometimes a team is unable to keep all its everyday cleanup hitters. At least the Pirates will get draft pick compensation if he rejects the one year 18 mil offer. As much as Jaso plays, he must be worth it!

  14. So Tim’s article explained why, from a baseball perspective, this move doesn’t matter, and maybe it is good to give innings to young guys. I don’t necessarily agree, but if I concede that point, this is still extremely troubling.

    If nothing else, this move is extremely tone deaf, and when combined with the Liriano cost saving trade last year, really just drive’s home the point that the Pirates don’t have the financial wherewithal to compete.

    Additionally, I don’t want to hear from anyone in Pirates management, even elude to the fact that they need to play Jaso and S-Rod because they owe it to the players out there to “compete” every day. Letting Nicasio walk free is the exact opposite of competing, you can’t have it both ways, you just can’t.

    This needs to be the start of the youngsters getting the majority of the time the rest of the way, or else this move just stinks of salary dump over just $600k

    • The only thing I do not agree with that you said is the Pirates financial wherewithal They have the wherewithal they do not have the desire. The Indians, Cardinals, Brewers (I can go on and on) are in small markets and it doesn’t stop them from trying.to win

      • Eh, yeah, wherewithal was a bad choice of words. I should say NH doesn’t have the wherewithal because ownership doesn’t have the desire to spend more than they do

      • The cardinals are not a “small” market. The brewers have just lost for 5 years straight. The indians are winning agree- and they have shit the bed for nearly a decade prior. You forget the last 5 years?

      • The Cardinals are a bad example. They are technically in a small market but they also always are near the top of the attendance charts every season.

      • I guess you have been asleep fot the past 5 to 10 years. Or intentionally ignoring won-loss records during that time. And I am not talking about the Pirates.

  15. So, Huntington was offered a low level prospect and $600K in savings for Nicasio and he turned that down for just saving $600K after a claim by the Phillies? He didn’t want to trade to a competitor even though he knows he is eliminated from contention? Really? This is just incompetence, stupidity or ego. Pick one.

    • If Philly took him now its likely they put the initial claim in and likely offered nothing in return. My guess no one offered us anything. That said there was no need to get rid of him even if the Pirates want to take a look at some more players

    • That initial claim on revocable waivers probably happened in early August when we were still in contention. Can you imagine the uproar (justified) if Huntington had traded Nicasio to the Cardinals or Brewers for a low level prospect on, say, August 11?

      (Note that most teams put many of their players on revocable waivers in early August to see who clears and is therefore eligible to be traded later.)

      • Also keep in mind the mood was pretty sour following the non waiver trade deadline. As the non waiver deadline wound down the pirates missed their opportunity to avoid waiver shenanigans that was the mistake.

        • Yes, I wasn’t that happy with how they handled things at the non-waiver deadline Loved the deal involving Watson, was puzzled by the Benoit deal, and had been hoping that Jaso and Nicasio would be moved for players comparable to what Watson brought back.

    • I don’t think it was a low level prospect….it probably wasn’t a good prospect…much like maybe one of many relief pitchers in the minors. The playoff caliber team did it only to block a trade to another playoff team. So the playoff team wasn’t going to offer anything of worth….

    • I think we’re missing one thing Huntington alluded to: it seems that this unnamed team wasn’t going to really use him, just stash him away to prevent a rival from having him. So he rolled the dice that maybe another contender would scarf him up with the intent of playing him.

  16. the explanation on waiving nicasio is bizarre. you didn’t want him to go to a playoff contender? who cares. you’re not competing for the playoffs anyways. so instead of getting a marginal return, you get nothing.

    makes sense to me.

    management really needs to stop straddling the line and pick a direction to take this club. you can’t get rid of nicasio to make room for the younger pitchers, while at the same time keep playing the likes of jaso and stewart. that just makes zero sense to do

    • To get rid of those guys would actually increase payroll since nobody will claim them and we would have to pay someone a ML contract to replace them for the month of Sept…

    • We lost out on our most coveted return in a trade this afternoon. Erik Kratz was traded for cash considerations. Dang! If we only knew would could have had Mr. cash considerations for ourselves by offering Stewart.

    • They didn’t want him to go to a playoff contender who just shit on them during revocable waivers by blocking them.

    • My guess is he was placed on revocable waivers close to the beginning of the month. When the Pirates thought they were still in it.

  17. I think the Phillies are just being antagonistic with this claim. “Screw you guys!” say the Phillies.

    • I just dont even think the Pirates are even on there radar. We sadly are irrevelant this year…probably just getting a crappy prospect for him

      • It was irrevocable waivers; there was no trade to make. The Phillies just kept other teams from taking him. That’s all they accomplished.

        • Ok, I figured they could waive him again, like we did, and send him to a contender. If they trade him, you have lost all credibility in my book. Haha JK….thanks

          • I was under the impression they couldn’t do that, because Nicasio has already been on irrevocable waivers at some point earlier this season.

    • The problem may be the same issue the pirates had though…Playoff team claims Nicasio, but offers a bag of balls type of player…..do you take it? because they’re doing it mostly to block another team from claiming him. Then you have to pull him back.

  18. Does anyone want to guess what at the end of the day, when all is said and done after EVERY Pirate expense throughout organization..from major league players to pens and paperclips…what does Bob Nutting put in his pocket at end of each season? Say its 20 million bucks? Is that ridiculous? Too high? Too low? That is why I say, 600K is pure unbudgeted profit into his pocket. Which is what makes him a GREAT business man and a LOUSY owner….its bout maximizing profit while just staying competitive…and maybe getting close. I truly dont know, just curious anyone elses thoughts

    • That’s pretty accurate. Phily took him because it makes there team better. For Tim and John to be accurate the Bucs will need to add someone possibly worth keeping to the BP who was not on the 40 man roster. My guess is we will add someone just not anyone worth keeping

    • I’m positive that he understands business more than most. There is debt to service. There are multiple facilities and employees off the field, and charities, that they fund. There are partners. The $600k doesn’t go “in his pocket”. The angry naive narrative is tired.

        • Quit being ridiculous. Paying debt is absolutely not the same as Nutting directly pocketing that money. Asinine. I agree 100% with how tiresome the “angry naive narrative” has become.

          • I never said it goes into Nutting pockets. If they use it to pay the debt it increases all the holders value in the team. You seem to be on the kool-aide drinkers side that Nutting is worthy of worship as a baseball god. Most experts agree Pirates error on the cheap side. This situation alone doesn’t upset me it’s the cumulation of all their cheap moves. You need to branch out and get your information from more than one source.

  19. I thought he would go to a contender (Brewers, Rangers), but the Phillies must be hoping picking him up now gives them at least a small advantage in signing him for next year.

    • I very much think so. They have some promising hitting prospects on the way but the pitching is very bad out here and it’s not good in the minors either. I was watching a game last Saturday here in Philly and thinking “My God, isn’t there anyone that can get outs?” Sort of like last night for the Pirates but I digress. He’s not taking any innings from any promising young arms out here. It’s bad. Especially since Neshek was traded.

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