Chris Nelson Rumors

Phillies To Sign Chris Nelson

The Phillies have reached agreement on a minor league deal with infielder Chris Nelson, according to a tweet from Jerry Crasnick of Nelson, 29, now joins his sixth organization since the start of 2013.

Nelson has seen his opportunities at the MLB level diminish since a highly productive 2012 season with the Rockies in which he slashed .301/.352/.458. But that line was BABIP-driven and inflated by playing in Coors Field, and Nelson has fallen well shy of that pace since. Over the last two seasons, Nelson has carried a .229/.279/.313 line acrosss 308 plate appearances.

Nelson would seem likely to provide Philadelphia with a utility bench option. Though he has seen only scant time at short, he does have a good number of innings at second and, especially, third base.

Players Who Have Elected Minor League Free Agency

A total of 43 players have elected to become minor league free agents, according to Baseball America’s Matt Eddy in his latest round-up of minor league transactions.  MLBTR has already reported on some of these moves over the last few days, and here is the rest of the list, with players grouped by their most recent team…

Outrighted: Gindl, Carp, Triunfel, Savery, Nelson

Here are today’s minor moves and outright assignments from around the league…

  • Brewers outfielder Caleb Gindl has cleared waivers and been outrighted to Triple-A, according to the transaction page. Gindl hit .242/.340/.439 last season in an extended look while Ryan Braun was serving his suspension but struggled in both the Majors and minors this season. Gindl, who turned 26 just four days ago, is a career .273/.345/.434 hitter in Triple-A.
  • Mike Carp has cleared waivers and been outrighted to Triple-A by the Rangers, via the transactions page. Carp, who had an excellent season for the World Series champion Red Sox in 2013, struggled in both Boston and Texas this season. He collected just five hits in 46 PA with the Rangers prior to his DFA.
  • The Dodgers have outrighted shortstop Carlos Triunfel to Triple-A Albuquerque, according to transactions page. The 24-year-old hit just .133/.188/.333 in 16 PA with the Dodgers this season and is a lifetime .160/.188/.235 hitter in 87 big league trips to the plate. The former top 100 prospect wasn’t able to deliver on his upside, as evidenced by his career .260/.301/.374 batting line at Triple-A.
  • Also from the transactions page, left-hander Joe Savery has been sent outright to Triple-A Sacramento by the Athletics. The 28-year-old fired four shutout innings for the A’s this season, allowing three hits and a walk without a strikeout. He was designated for assignment as the A’s made a series of September callups.
  • Infielder Chris Nelson has cleared waivers and been outrighted to Triple-A El Paso by the Padres, reports Jeff Sanders of the San Diego Union-Tribune (on Twitter). The former first-round pick batted .233/.296/.274 in 81 plate appearances with the Padres this season and can become a free agent now or at season’s end if he wishes. Nelson, who has experience at both second and third base, is a lifetime .265/.311/.388 hitter in 901 PA between the Rockies, Angels, Yankees and Padres.

Padres Designate Troy Patton, Chris Nelson

The Padres have designated lefty Troy Patton and infielder Chris Nelson for assignment,’s Corey Brock reports on Twitter. Like many of the day’s other DFAs, these moves are related to the team’s September call-up plans.

Patton, 28, was picked up from the Orioles in the deal that sent Nick Hundley to Baltimore. He had been a reasonably effective reliever before struggling out of the gate this year for the O’s. Over 7 1/3 frames in San Diego, Patton actually showed quite well, allowing just two earned runs and striking out eight and walking only one. Over his career, Patton has limited lefties to a .633 OPS while also managing right-handed batters reasonably well (.718 OPS-against).

Nelson, also 28, has bounced around quite a bit in recent years. This season, he spent time at Triple-A with both the Reds and Pads, posting a combined .279/.355/.389 slash over 363 plate appearances. He failed to hit the .300 mark in any of those categories in his 81 trips to the MLB dish this year for San Diego.

Padres Sign Chris Nelson

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’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.

Reds Release Chris Nelson After He Exercises Opt-Out

The Reds have released third baseman Chris Nelson, tweets Jamie Ramsey, the club’s assistant director of media relations. The 28-year-old exercised an opt-out in his minor league deal, according to Chris Cotillo of (via Twitter).

Nelson re-signed with Cincinnati after opting out of his original minor league deal at the end of the spring. On the year, he has logged 261 plate appearances with a .274/.330/.363 triple-slash and four home runs at Triple-A Lousiville.

He bounced around last year, going from the Rockies to the Yankees and then the Angels. All said, he compiled a .227/.273/.327 line in 227 plate appearances. Once a top prospect, Nelson’s best year as a big leaguer was his .301/.352/.458 campaign for Colorado in 2013.

Quick Hits: Drew, Morales, Nelson, Taveras, Bukauskas

With Stephen Drew and Kendrys Morales still unsigned with less than a month to go before the amateur draft, it is looking increasingly plausible that the pair will wait to shed their accompanying draft pick compensation before finding a new club. As Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports on Twitter, teams will be able to ink either of the two free agents without giving up a pick as soon as the first day of the draft is completed on June 5. Of course, that is also the point at which their former clubs — the Red Sox and Mariners, respectively — would no longer stand to gain a compensatory choice should they sign elsewhere after declining qualifying offers.

Here’s more from around the league …

  • Reds third baseman Chris Nelson will not exercise the opt-out clause in his contract that came due today, tweets Chris Cotillo of The 28-year-old will continue on with Triple-A Louisville for the time being, though his deal includes another opt-out date a month from now.
  • A rival talent evaluator tells’s Buster Olney (Insider link) that the Cardinals‘ decision on the promotion of star prospect Oscar Taveras is complicated by the team’s defensive issues. In that source’s estimation, Taveras is better suited to the corner outfield than center. The team’s best method of creating space, he opines, would be to deal first baseman Matt Adams and put Allen Craig back in the infield. As Olney notes, Adams would figure to draw plenty of trade interest given his solid bat (career .803 OPS) and lengthy team control (through 2018).
  • 17-year-old high-school hurler Jacob Bukauskas, a potential first-round choice in the upcoming draft, has notified scouts that he plans to attend the University of North Carolina, according to John Manuel of Baseball America. The hard-throwing righty had pitched himself into consideration for selection in the late first or early second round, though some scouts believe he may not be able to stick as a starter. As Manuel notes, the Stone Bridge High School product will not be eligible for the draft again until 2017 if he matriculates at UNC.

Reds Re-Sign Chris Nelson

2:57pm: Nelson's contract contains a May 6 opt-out clause, tweets MLB Daily Dish's Chris Cotillo.

2:28pm: Infielder Chris Nelson, who opted out of his minor league contract with Cincinnati at the end of Spring Training, has re-signed a minor league contract with the Reds and will report to Triple-A Louisville, the team announced on Twitter.

Nelson, 28, enjoyed a strong Spring Training with the Reds, batting .317/.348/.463 with a homer and three walks in 46 trips to the plate. Nelson bounced around to three teams last year, seeing time with the Rockies, Yankees and Angels. The Williams & Connolly client was originally selected by the Rockies with the ninth overall pick in the 2004 draft. Though he hasn't put together an impressive Major League stat line to this point, Nelson has raked at Triple-A, hitting .320/.367/.516 in 205 games. His best season in the Majors was in 2012, when he batted .301/.352/.458 with nine homers in 377 plate appearances.

Chris Nelson Opts Out Of Contract With Reds

Infielder Chris Nelson has opted out of his deal with the Reds and requested his release, reports's Jerry Crasnick (via Twitter). The 28-year-old hoped to catch on in Cincinnati after shifting between three clubs last season.

Nelson has generally found success in the high minors, and carries a solid prospect pedigree. But last year, Nelson was unable to replicate the .301/.352/.458 mark he put up in a career-high 377 plate appearances in 2012. In 227 total MLB plate appearances, split between the Rockies, Yankees, and Angels, he managed only a .227/.273/.327 triple-slash. 

Reds To Sign Chris Nelson

TUESDAY: Nelson's deal allows him to opt out on March 28 if he has not been awarded a roster spot by that time, according to Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish (on Twitter).

MONDAY: The Reds have agreed to a minor league deal with infielder Chris Nelson, reports's Mark Sheldon. ESPN's Jerry Crasnick reported earlier today that Cincinnati was closing in on a deal with the Williams & Connolly client. Nelson told Sheldon's colleague, Thomas Harding, that he is excited about the opportunity:

"I think it’s a great opportunity, especially being in the National League. I have a chance to be a utility man, and with the double-switches there could be a chance for playing time. It could be a good fit for me."

As Sheldon writes, there will be a familiar face in camp for Nelson, as second baseman Brandon Phillips is at times one of his offseason workout partners. The 28-year-old Nelson slashed .301/.352/.458 in 377 plate appearances with the Rockies in 2012, but that line was propped up by a .374 batting average on balls in play that was predictably not sustainable. Regression in his BABIP and a 29 percent strikeout rate in 2013 saw the 2004 No. 9 overall draft pick's production fall to .227/.273/.327. Though he can handle both second and third base, he's not considered a plus defender at either position.

Nelson will look to catch on as a reserve for both Phillips and third baseman Todd Frazier, though the Reds have reserve options at each position in the form of Skip Schumaker and Jack Hannahan, each of whom is on a guaranteed contract for the 2014season.