Jayson Nix Rumors

Rays To Sign Jayson Nix

5:28pm: Nix receives a July 15 opt-out date in his contract, tweets Cotillo.

4:18pm: The Rays have agreed to a minor league deal with infielder Jayson Nix, reports Chris Cotillo of MLBDailyDish.com (via Twitter). Nix will start out at Triple-A, according to Cotillo.

Nix, 31, recently elected free agency after being outrighted by the Phillies. While in Philadelphia, he put up a .154/.214/.231 triple-slash while appearing all around the infield in 18 games. Of course, Nix came over from the Rays via trade just before the season started after spending the spring with Tampa.

For the Rays, Nix represents additional depth up the middle with regular second baseman Ben Zobrist on the DL. The club is currently relying on Logan Forsythe, Sean Rodriguez, and recent call-up Cole Figueroa at second.


Jayson Nix Outrighted By Phillies, Elects Free Agency

TODAY: Nix has elected free agency, the club announced.

YESTERDAY: The Phillies announced that they’ve outrighted infielder Jayson Nix off the 25-man and 40-man roster. Nix will have 72 hours to accept or his assignment to Triple-A Lehigh Valley or elect free agency. A corresponding roster move will be made before tomorrow’s game, according to the Phillies.

The 31-year-old Nix appeared in 18 games for the Phillies this season, batting just .154/.214/.231 while appearing at third base, shortstop and second base. Nix appeared at the Major League level in the 2009-13 seasons with the White Sox, Indians, Blue Jays and Yankees, batting .223/.293/.367 and posting a pair of double-digit homer seasons along the way. He’s never been able to carve out a role as a regular, but he does have some pop in his bat and speed on the basepaths to go along with his defensive versatility.

He is the second Nix to wear a Phillies uniform in the past year, as his brother, Laynce, was with the Phils from 2012-13, though Laynce was released last August near the end of his two-year, $2.5MM contract.


Phillies Acquire Jayson Nix From Rays

The Phillies have acquired infielder Jayson Nix from the Rays for cash considerations and have added him to the team's 40-man roster, the club announced. The club further announced that it had informed Reid Brignac that he would not make the club.

Nix, 31, spent last year with the Yankees, taking 303 trips to the plate for New York. He ended up with a .236/.308/.311 triple-slash. In parts of six MLB seasons, Nix has a lifetime .218/.290/.358 line.



AL East Links: Murphy, Romine, Rays, McGowan

MLBTR's Offseason In Review series continued earlier today with my look at the Orioles' winter moves, covering everything from the Ubaldo Jimenez and Nelson Cruz signings to the lack of progress on extensions for Chris Davis, J.J. Hardy and Matt Wieters.  Here's some more from around the AL East…

  • Yankees GM Brian Cashman told reporters (including ESPN New York's Wallace Matthews) that he's "hearing from a lot of people about" catchers John Ryan Murphy and Austin Romine.  The Yankees have been shopping their catching depth for weeks, and now that Francisco Cervelli has won the backup job, Murphy and Romine could be more expendable.  Cashman, however, doesn't feel pressure to move either players.  "They’re assets. We’re not in any position where we have to do anything, but if something made sense, we’d consider it. But right now, we’re happy with what we’ve got," Cashman said.
  • Rays manager Joe Maddon told reporters (including Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times) that he has informed Wilson Betemit and Jayson Nix that they won't be making Tampa's Opening Day roster, in order to give the two players extra time to find another Major League opportunity.  The two veterans signed minor league deals with the Rays earlier this winter and have the ability to opt out, though Betemit told Topkin that he would play for Tampa's Triple-A affiliate if he couldn't find a roster spot elsewhere (Topkin believes Nix feels the same way).
  • Mark Lowe is also open to returning to the Rays, the veteran right-hander tells Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times.  Lowe's family lives in the Tampa area and he praised the Rays organization, saying that he would be willing to pitch at Triple-A unless, like Betemit and Nix, he finds a job with another team.  The Rays granted Lowe his release earlier today after he was also told he wouldn't make the 25-man roster.
  • The Blue Jays' decision to make Dustin McGowan their fifth starter raises concerns about whether McGowan is up to the task both performance-wise and health-wise, Sportsnet.ca's Shi Davidi writes.  Since McGowan made the rotation almost by default given how the Jays' other options struggled, Davidi wonders "if he and the Blue Jays are playing a game of Russian Roulette with his career" by returning McGowan to a starting role before he's even fully stretched out.  The injury-plagued McGowan missed three of the previous four seasons with shoulder and knee surgeries but pitched effectively over 25 2/3 innings out of the bullpen in 2013. 
  • Corey Brown didn't invoke the opt-out clause in his minor league contract with the Red Sox and will report to the club's Triple-A club, Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe reports.

Rays Notes: Price, Nix, Padres, Forsythe, Torres

Now that Masahiro Tanaka is off the market, teams that missed out on Japanese righty could try to acquire another ace-level pitcher in the form of David Price.  The Price trade rumors had died down as the offseason progressed and there was a growing expectation that Price would be a Ray in 2014, though one Major League executive expects the Rays to reach out to the Dodgers and other teams about Price's availability.  "I have no doubt they will revisit that, starting today," the executive tells Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times.

  • Jayson Nix's minor league deal with the Rays allows him to look for a Major League job elsewhere if he isn't on Tampa Bay's opening day roster, MLBTR's Zach Links reports (Twitter links).  Nix's deal also allows him to opt out of his contract on June 1 even if he is on the Rays' Major League roster.
  • The Rays and Padres completed a seven-player trade earlier today and Tampa Bay executive VP Andrew Friedman discussed the deal in a conference call with reporters, including Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times (two links).  Friedman broke down the five players the Rays received from San Diego and noted that Logan Forsythe "is a guy that we had tried to get previously and a guy that was very high on our target list."
  • While Friedman appreciated the work that Alex Torres had done in Tampa Bay, the Rays felt they had enough left-handed relief depth to use a southpaw as trade bait.

Rays To Sign Jayson Nix

The Rays are set to sign infielder Jayson Nix to a minor league deal, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter). Nix is represented by Turner Gary Sports.

The 31-year-old Nix has spent the past three seasons in the AL East, playing for the Blue Jays in 2011 and then the Yankees in 2012-13. Over the past two seasons in the Bronx, Nix has totaled 505 plate appearances, batting .239/.307/.340 with seven home runs and 19 stolen bases (in 23 attempts).

Nix offers a great deal of versatility in the field, an asset that surely attracted the Rays in particular. He has experience at second base, shortstop, third base, left field and right field in parts of six Major League seasons split between the Rockies, White Sox, Indians, Jays and Yankees.


American League Non-Tenders

Major League clubs have until 11pm CT tonight to tender contracts to players for the 2014 season. We'll run down the list of American League non-tenders here. Remember that you can track all of the action using MLBTR's Non-Tender tracker, and we offer a full list of non-tender candidates as well. Also of use will be our Arbitration Eligibles series, which includes Matt Swartz's projected 2014 salaries for all arbitration eligible players.

  • The Orioles announced they've non-tendered outfielder Jason Pridie and minor league starter Eddie Gamboa.
  • The Rays will non-tender reliever Wesley Wright, tweets Roger Mooney of the Tampa Tribune.
  • The Red Sox announced that they have non-tendered outfielder Ryan Kalish, Mike Salk of WEEI.com tweets.
  • The White Sox will not tender a contract to pitcher Dylan Axelrod, tweets Colleen Kane of the Chicago Tribune.
  • The Angels will non-tender pitcher Jerome Williams, tweets  Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times. The club will also non-tender righty Tommy Hanson and third baseman Chris Nelson, tweets DiGiovanna. J.C. Gutierrez will also be non-tendered, tweets Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com, though that seemed a given since that he had already been designated for assignment.
  • The Indians have non-tendered outfielder Matt Carson, pitcher Tyler Cloyd, and catcher Lou Marson, the club announced.
  • The Rays are non-tendering outfielder Sam Fuld, a source tells Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Fuld, who will turn 32 in a few weeks, could be a lefty-swinging bench piece for another club, though he slashed only .199/.270/.267 last year in 200 plate appearances for Tampa.
  • GM Brian Cashman says that the Yankees will non-tender infielder Jayson Nix, tweets Anthony McCarron of the New York Daily News. The 31-year-old veteran appeared in 87 games for New York last season, putting up a .236/.308/.311 line in 303 plate appearances. The club will also non-tender reliever Matt Daley and infielder David Adams. New York confirmed the moves via press release.
  • The Royals announced that they have non-tendered second baseman Chris Getz. The 30-year-old Getz has tried to hold down Kansas City's keystone spot for several years now but produced just a .246/.299/.314 batting line from 2012-13. Swartz had pegged Getz for a $1.3MM salary in 2014.

Tender Deadline Notes: Barton, Stewart, Nix, Kelly

Tomorrow at 10:59pm CT marks the deadline for teams to tender contracts to arbitration-eligible players. Most arbitration-eligible players will be tendered, since players typically receive less in the arbitration system than they would be able to get in free agency. But a few dozen will likely be non-tendered, expanding the free-agent pool.

Clearly, that pool won't include any current stars. But it's likely a couple non-tenders will be contributors in 2014. Ben Nicholson-Smith of SportsNet.ca tweets a reminder that last year's crop of non-tenders included outfielder Nate Schierholtz, who ended up having a solid season with the Cubs, and reliever Brian Wilson. The list also included infielder Mark Reynolds, who landed a $6MM contract with the Indians, and Manny Parra, who posted a solid season out of the Reds' bullpen.

MLBTR will be updated with non-tender information throughout the day tomorrow. For more, you can check out MLBTR's list of non-tender candidates, as well as our arbitration tracker and list of tenders and non-tenders. The latter two resources will be updated as news rolls in. In the meantime, here are a couple notes on what to expect tomorrow.

  • One player who could be non-tendered is Daric Barton, who is the Athletics' longest-tenured player, as MLB.com's Jane Lee points out. Barton arrived in Oakland's 2004 trade of Mark Mulder. He never really became the high-OBP first baseman the A's were likely hoping he'd be, with only one strong full-time season (2010) to his credit, but the A's did get Dan Haren in that trade, so it turned out well for them anyway. Barton hit .269/.350/.375 in limited duty with the A's in 2013, spending most of the season at Triple-A Sacramento.
  • The Yankees could non-tender catcher Chris Stewart and infielder Jayson Nix, writes MLB.com's Bryan Hoch. The Yanks' signings of Brian McCann and Brendan Ryan don't bode well for Stewart or Nix, particularly given that GM Brian Cashman has said he will tender catcher Francisco Cervelli.
  • The Tigers' only non-tender candidate is utilityman Don Kelly, writes MLB.com's Jason Beck. Working in Kelly's favor are his low salary (MLBTR's projects he'll make $900K) and the fact that, even if they tender him a contract, the Tigers would be able to release him in spring training and pay only a fraction of his deal. It's currently unclear where Kelly will fit on the Tigers' roster next year. Kelly hit .222/.309/.343 in part-time duty for the Tigers last season.

AL Notes: Yankees, Bauer, Twins, Dickey

If you are looking for some interesting reading this evening, have a look at the evolution of the defensive shift as told by Travis Sawchik of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Meanwhile, let's take a look at some American League clubs and ballplayers:

  • We heard on Wednesday that the Yankees were looking for a right-handed bat, and all signs point to that need being real. Bryan Hoch of MLB.com reports that Jayson Nix, who sports a career .365 slugging percentage, has been taking balls at first base in case the team wants a righty to spell Lyle Overbay. Nix has held down third base while Kevin Youkilis works his way back, but the Yanks' recent acquisition of Chris Nelson provides the club with another option at the hot corner. 
  • Yankees GM Brian Cashman deserves a ton of credit for finding value in Overbay, Travis Hafner, and Vernon Wells, tweets Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. There may be a flicker of light at the end of the tunnel for the scrambling Cashman, however. Hoch reports that Ivan Nova, Mark Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez, and Youkilis are all expected to report to the Yankees' Tampa facility for rehab work. Meanwhile, Curtis Granderson has been playing in extended spring training since Wednesday.
  • Count Paul Hoynes of the Plain Dealer as a fan of the Indians' decision to trade for young pitcher Trevor Bauer this offseason. Hoynes writes that Bauer is ready to be a successful big leaguer this year, and may be the most talented pitching prospect in Cleveland since a certain CC Sabathia.
  • Of course, all three teams involved in the deal that brought Bauer to the Indians seem to have gotten what they wanted out of the deal (at least so far). In addition to Bauer, outfielder Drew Stubbs is off to a fairly promising start for Cleveland, and currently sports a .284/.340/.420 line. The Indians have also enjoyed quality bullpen work from Matt Albers and Bryan Shaw. Meanwhile, Shin-Soo Choo has clobbered the ball for the Reds, putting up a .330/.467/.541 line. He has done so while playing a passable, albeit below average, center field. And the Diamondbacks not only seem quite pleased with shortstop prospect Didi Gregorius, who is off to a .407/.448/.778 start in his first 30 plate appearances, but have received solid production from veteran reliever Tony Sipp.
  • Of course, not all deals turn out the way you hope. As ESPN's Buster Olney notes on Twitter, Twins fans are (or should be) cringing at the hot start for the Brewers' Carlos Gomez. After emerging as a solid regular center fielder last season, Gomez is putting up excellent power, speed, and on-base numbers thus far in 2013. The Twins shipped Gomez to Milwaukee in return for J.J. Hardy after the 2009 season, and later sent Hardy to the Orioles to make way for the failed Tsuyoshi Nishioka experiment. In exchange for Hardy, in turn, the Twins got a pair of young righties — Jim Hoey and Brett Jacobson — who have failed to deliver any value to the club.
  • While the full ramifications of trades often take years to clarify, the Blue Jays could be wondering already how the recent trade for R.A. Dickey will turn out. As Mark Simon of ESPN.com explains, Dickey is failing to get hitters to chase pitches outside the zone, which could attributable in part to decreased knuckleball velocity. On the other side of the ledger, the Mets have surprisingly received incredible production from a seemingly minor piece of that deal — catcher John Buck — and were able to slot prospects Travis d'Arnaud and Noah Syndergaard atop the team's prospect list.

Minor Moves: Rockies, Jayson Nix, Travis Webb

Here are some minor transactions from around baseball…