Phillies Trade Pitcher Juan Nicasio to the Cardinals
How long was Juan Nicasio with the Phillies? Long enough that we were not able to get a good picture of him pitching for the Phillies. Nicasio got four outs for the Phillies and even earned a win as a member of the Phillies bullpen. But now he’s gone.
Stunningly, the St. Louis Cardinals announced that they have acquired Nicasio from the Phillies in exchange for infield prospect Eliezer Alvarez:
The #STLCards announced today that they have acquired RHP Juan Nicasio from the Phillies in exchange for minor league INF Eliezer Alvarez.
— St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) September 6, 2017
So the Phillies claimed Nicasio on waivers for free and then flipped him for a prospect.
Alvarez was number 19 on the Cardinals MLB Pipeline Top 30 prospects. The Pipeline scouting report had this to say about him:
Alvarez had hit for a high average every year since repeating the Gulf Coast League in 2014, using a short, level swing from the left side of the plate to make consistent, hard contact, though his approach did not serve him well with the double-jump to the Texas League. He has the chance to grow into more power, but he might be more of a line-drive, doubles-type hitter because of his approach. He’s an above-average runner with excellent instincts that allow him to be a threat on the bases. He has a very strong arm, but needs to work on his footwork and hands to be a more effective defender at second.
A member of the 40-man roster, Alvarez will also be on the Phillies 40-man roster.
The Cardinals remain in contention for a National League Wild Card spot. Today, they sit three games behind the second wild card team, the Colorado Rockies. Being after September 1, the Cardinals cannot use Nicasio on their playoff roster. But they hope he will get them there.
The Phillies’ claim of Nicasio was highly controversial to Pirates fans. On Bucs Dugout, Huntingdon defended the decision:
Huntington explained the organization was unwilling to trade Nicasio while the team was “still in the hunt and still believed we could fight our way back into it.” After the Pirates dropped out of the race, Huntington received a low-ball offer from a competitor (a 52nd best organizational prospect) and he did not want to help that club “win in the postseason and generate revenue for next year.”
So in the end, the Pirates got nothing.
Nicasio, meanwhile, could help the St. Louis Cardinals, a Pirates division rival, make the postseason and generate revenue for next year. That is not what the Pirates had in mind. But for the Phillies, they got a prospect for essentially nothing.