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Phillies trade Juan Nicasio to Cardinals

The reliever will not be postseason-eligible but will join St. Louis for the month of September.

MLB: Philadelphia Phillies at Miami Marlins Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The Phillies traded reliever Juan Nicasio to the Cardinals for minor-league infielder Eliezer Alvarez on Wednesday afternoon.

Nicasio has had a very unusual couple of weeks, as he has been placed on outright waivers by the Pirates, claimed by the Phillies and traded to the Cardinals all within a period of 10 days. While Pittsburgh’s decision to cut the effective reliever for no compensation (just $600k in salary relief) has drawn wide criticism, Philadelphia’s shrewd decision to claim him for nothing and flip him for a prospect a week later will surely draw praise.

Nicasio, 31, owns a 2.79 ERA in 67 appearances with the Pirates and Phillies this season, striking out batters at a 9.0 K/9 rate. He is a free agent after the season.

Because Nicasio was acquired after Aug. 31, he will not be eligible for the Cardinals postseason roster if the club makes it. He will only give St. Louis an additional bullpen arm for its final 24 games as the club tries to overtake the Rockies and Brewers for a wild card berth.

Alvarez, 22, is a Dominican-born infielder who hit .247/.321/.382 with four homers and eight steals in 54 games for Double-A Springfield this year. He was ranked by MLB Pipeline as St. Louis’ 19th-best prospect at the time of the trade, though his value has fallen in 2017 after a subpar season.

Alvarez is viewed as having the potential to reach the majors as a second baseman and could be a nice steal for the Phillies if he is able to turn things around next season.