An interesting twist today in the wild Juan Nicasio trade to the Cardinals. A little background: the Pirates placed good reliever Juan Nicasio on trade waiver in late August, having decided that they were essentially out of the race. Nicasio was claimed by a team, no trade was worked out, Nicasio was pulled back to the Pirates, and then subsequently put on release waivers. The Phillies claimed him for nothing, and the Pirates saved some salary. Thereafter, the Phillies put Nicasio back on trade waivers in September (which you can apparently do after a guy is released), he was claimed by the Cardinals, and those two teams worked out a trade. A significant bummer for the Pirates, and a boon for the Cardinals (who got a good reliever to use for the stretch run in September (but not the postseason, as he’s now ineligible)) and for the Phillies (who got a prospect for free).
Follow all that?
Well, here’s the fun fact for today: the team that originally claimed Nicasio on trade waivers from the Pirates back in late August? The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that it was the Cubs!
That means those two sides couldn’t work out a trade (not all that surprising at the time, as the Pirates surely didn’t want to help a division rival with a reasonable trade), and Nicasio was pulled back. Thus, the reason the Pirates weren’t able to get anything of value for Nicasio, and the reason he wound up with the Cardinals in the end, is because the Cubs originally claimed him and no trade was worked out.
The Pirates probably aren’t too happy with the Cubs right now, even though the Cubs did nothing wrong.
In fact, the Cubs probably did want Nicasio at the time, since he’s been a very successful reliever – it’s not like the Cubs would have hated to add another arm there in late August.
In the ends, it’s just a fun additional layer to what has proved to be a wild ride for Nicasio and the NL Central.