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'Pure cheapness': Pirates dumping Juan Nicasio for nothing baffles many

Matt Rosenberg
| Friday, Sept. 1, 2017, 10:18 a.m.
Pirates' Juan Nicasio (12) reacts to a homer by the Brewers in the top of the eight inning on Wednesday July 19, 2017 at PNC Park.
Christian Tyler Randolph | Tribune-Review
Pirates' Juan Nicasio (12) reacts to a homer by the Brewers in the top of the eight inning on Wednesday July 19, 2017 at PNC Park.

A local narrative is become a little more clear around the country.

In the wake of the Pirates giving up Juan Nicasio for nothing and getting the $600,000 he's owed for the rest of the season off the books, analysts left little doubt on their feelings about the move — and the organization.

Even general manager Neal Huntington called the move an "unusual step."

Yahoo! Sports MLB columnist Jeff Passan said the move was borne of "pure cheapness."

"We acknowledge the minimal amount of money saved by making this move," Huntington said in a statement Thursday. "However, as a result of our decision and Juan's pending free agency at the end of the season, we felt it appropriate to attempt to move Juan to a better situation for him."

To break that down: The Pirates saved money. Nicasio was going to be a free agent at the end of the season. Nicasio still will be a free agent at the end of the season. Nicasio is now pitching for the Phillies, who have the worst record in baseball. So how, exactly, does this quality as a "better situation" for him?

Reaction locally ranged from outrage to confusion to disgust. Nicasio had been among the Pirates' most effective relievers. And tears shed from Pirates closer Felipe Rivero.

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