Looking to add some veteran bullpen depth as they continue their chase for the National League Central or a Wild Card berth, the St. Louis Cardinals announced the acquisition of reliever Juan Nicasio from the Philadelphia Phillies in exchange for minor league infielder Eliezer Alvarez.
The 31-year-old Nicasio has combined to go 3-5 with a 2.79 ERA in a National League-leading 67 games between Pittsburgh (65 games) and Philadelphia (2 games) in 2017. He has also fanned 61 batters in his 61.1 innings of work this season, with 18 walks and four home runs allowed.
The right-hander barely spent a week with the Phillies, having been claimed on waivers from Pittsburgh on August 31. At the time, Pirates General Manager Neil Huntington issued a statement to Pittsburgh reporters explaining that the team had tried to clear Nicasio through trade waivers, but were blocked by a playoff-contending, “direct competitor” so they instead chose to outright the pitcher, which has a different selection order, in hopes he would land in the American League. Instead, he was claimed by the Phillies and is now a member of the Cardinals–a direct competitor.
A real doozy.
Neal Huntington issued the following statement regarding Juan Nicasio. pic.twitter.com/o8sVRrmVOE— Stephen J. Nesbitt (@stephenjnesbitt) August 31, 2017
Opponents are hitting .218 against Nicasio, including a .200 average vs. left-handed batters. His 21 Holds are tied for fifth in the National League this season and his 1.09 WHIP is ranked 15th among all NL relievers.
Expected to join the Cardinals before the conclusion of this road trip in San Diego, Nicasio would not be eligible for postseason play should St. Louis qualify.