8:41pm: Nelson’s contract contains an August 1 opt-out date, reports Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish (on Twitter).
7:33pm: The Padres have signed infielder Chris Nelson to a minor league deal, according to MLB.com’s Corey Brock (on Twitter). A client of agent Jon Fetterolf, Nelson was recently released by the Reds and will report to Triple-A El Paso.
Nelson, the No. 9 overall pick in the 2004 draft (by the Rockies), batted .274/.330/.363 in 261 plate appearances with Triple-A Louisville in the Reds organization earlier this season. He’s a career .268/.312/.399 hitter in the Majors and had a particularly strong showing in 2012 when he hit .301/.352/.458 with nine home runs (though a good deal of that production came at Coors Field).
Nelson has experience at both second and third base, though defensive metrics such as Ultimate Zone Rating and Defensive Runs Saved aren’t particularly high on him at either position. He should serve as a nice depth piece for the Padres, who have lost Jedd Gyorko to injury and traded away some of their infield depth in the offseason by dealing Logan Forsythe to Tampa Bay.