Cardinals trade minor leaguer to Phillies for reliever Nicasio

Juan Nicasio pitched in only two games for the Phillies after being obtained from the Pirates last week.
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The St. Louis Cardinals got another arm for their bullpen Wednesday, obtaining right-hander Juan Nicasio from the Philadelphia Phillies in a trade for minor league infielder Eliezer Alvarez.

Nicasio, 31, had not been a Phillie for long. He joined the team Aug. 31 on a waiver claim from the Pirates. His combined 2017 record between the two teams (65 games with Pittsburgh, two with Philadelphia) was 3-5 with a 2.79 ERA in a National League-high 67 games.

Nicasio has 61 strikeouts and only 18 walks in 61 1/3 innings. He has allowed just four home runs while holding opposing batters to a .218 average.

The 6-foot-4, 250-pound Dominican has appeared in 260 career games (82 starts) with the Rockies (2011-14), Dodgers (2015), Pirates (2016-17) and Phillies, assembling a career mark of 35-37 with a 4.60 ERA in 618 2/3 innings.

Should the Cardinals make the playoffs, Nicasio will not be eligible. He will be a free agent after the season.

Alvarez, 22, was signed by the Cardinals as a non-drafted international free agent in 2011 out of the Dominican Republic. He batted a combined .248 with five homers and 28 RBIs in 61 games between Double-A Springfield and the rookie Gulf Coast League Cardinals this season.