Jayson Nix Rumors

Minor Moves: Burton, Blanton, Boscan, Mitchell

Here are today’s minor moves from around the league, with the most recent at the top.

  • the Yankees have released righty Jared Burton, MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch tweets. Burton, formerly a regular in the Reds and Twins bullpens, has made a handful of appearances for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre this season. The Yankees originally signed Burton to a minor-league deal with a series of opt-out dates, and they already released and re-signed him in March, so perhaps it’s not out of the question that they could re-sign him yet again.
  • The Royals have announced that they’ve selected the contract of veteran righty Joe Blanton. Blanton had an opt-out opportunity yesterday on his minor-league deal. He had been pitching for Triple-A Omaha, where he posted a 3.89 ERA, 6.9 K/9 and 2.3 BB/9 in 39 1/3 innings. The longtime Athletics and Phillies starter last appeared in the big leagues in 2013, when he posted a 6.04 ERA in 132 2/3 innings with the Angels. Blanton will work in long relief, as MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan tweets. The Royals also announced that they optioned righty Aaron Brooks to Omaha and placed lefty Brian Flynn on the 60-day disabled list.
  • The Pirates have selected the contract of righty Wilfredo Boscan, Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette tweets. They also optioned utilityman Steve Lombardozzi to Triple-A Indianapolis and moved righty Brandon Cumpton to the 60-day disabled list. Boscan will, presumably, help the Pirates’ bullpen after yesterday’s 11-10 extra-inning loss, which required the Bucs to throw 261 pitches. The 25-year-old Boscan has a 2.87 ERA, 5.7 K/9 and 3.2 BB/9 in 31 1/3 innings at Triple-A Indianapolis this season. He has never pitched in the Majors.
  • The Angels have signed outfield Jared Mitchell and assigned him to the Double-A Arkansas Travelers, the Travelers have announced. The White Sox released Mitchell, a 2009 first-round pick, earlier this month. The 26-year-old has hit .226/.334/.381 in parts of six seasons in the minor leagues.
  • The Phillies have acquired infielder Jayson Nix from the Orioles for cash considerations, the teams have announced. Nix will head to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. The 32-year-old was hitting .167/.190/.198 in 100 plate appearances for Triple-A Norfolk, and he struggled in brief stints in the big leagues last year with the Phillies, Pirates and Royals. In parts of seven seasons in the Majors, he’s hit .212/.282/.345. The move gives the Phillies infield depth after the recent promotion of Maikel Franco and their decision to have Cody Asche transition to playing outfield.
  • The Rays have signed former Pirates pitching prospect Kyle McPherson, Steve Kinsella of DRaysBay tweets. McPherson pitched 26 1/3 strong innings with the Bucs in 2012 after posting a 3.22 ERA, 8.5 K/9 and an extremely stingy 1.2 BB/9 in 67 innings in the high minors that year, but he had Tommy John surgery in 2013 and another elbow injury last season. He became a minor-league free agent last fall.

AL East Notes: Moncada, Orioles, Jepsen, Sox

The Yankees hosted their second private workout for Cuban sensation Yoan Moncada last night, reports George A. King III of the the New York Post. The Yankees like Moncada quite a bit but are a bit leery of the financial commitment it will take to sign the 19-year-old, King adds. He also hears from an international scouting source that the Dodgers could be willing to spend up to $40MM on a bonus for Moncada (meaning an $80MM total commitment after tax), which one scout described to King as “a lot of money for someone to begin at [Single-A].”

Elsewhere in the American League East…

  • Orioles GM/executive vice president Dan Duquette spoke to the media on a number of roster-related issues today, and Britt Ghiroli of MLB.com provides a quick rundown of the items discussed. Duquette says the team is still looking to add a reliever, likely on a minor league deal, and he also said there’s little chance of the team avoiding arbitration with Alejandro De Aza, whose hearing is set for tomorrow. Additionally, Duquette revealed that minor league signee Paul Janish had surgery to remove bone spurs from his throwing elbow and will be out six to eight weeks. That news led the team to its now-official minor league deal with Jayson Nix.
  • Rays right-hander Kevin Jepsen spoke with Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times about the strange feeling of being traded from the only organization he’s ever known. Traded by the Angels to the Rays for Matt Joyce this offseason, Jepsen, an Arizona resident, describes the peculiar feeling of heading to Spring Training in Florida. Though the transition is jarring, he does have a familiar face in closer Jake McGee, who grew up with Jepsen in Nevada, Topkin writes. The brief look at Jepsen’s transition serves as a reminder of the human element to these transactions that we often take for granted.
  • While it’s easy to suggest that the Red Sox should simply trade Shane Victorino, it’s also important for them to maintain some outfield depth, writes Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe. Hanley Ramirez has averaged just 116 games over the past four seasons, and Rusney Castillo is still “more potential than certainty.” A healthy Victorino is typically a valuable asset and could be of use in any outfield spot if needed.
  • Abraham also spoke to Brandon Workman, who said he’s not the least bit bothered by being moved from the rotation to the bullpen by the Red Sox“I want to be in the majors,” Workman told Abraham. “You feel terrible when you get sent back to Triple A and this is where I want to be. I’m not worried about anything else.”

Orioles, Jayson Nix Agree To Minor League Deal

The Orioles and infielder Jayson Nix have agreed to a minor league contract that will pay the 32-year-old Turner Gary Sports client $750K in the Majors with another $50K worth of incentives, tweets Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. Nix will be invited to Major League Spring Training, per MASNsports.com’s Roch Kubatko (on Twitter). 1500 ESPN’s Darren Wolfson tweeted last night that Nix was on the cusp of signing.

Nix spent time with three different clubs in 2014 but struggled across the board, batting .120/.169/.157 in 91 plate appearances between the Phillies, Pirates and Royals. Earlier in his career, the former No. 44 overall pick (Rockies, 2001) showed 15-homer/15-steal potential, but he’s never been able to consistently produce at the Major League level.

Nix, who has experience at all four infield positions, will provide depth to an Orioles infield that projects to use Manny Machado at third base, J.J. Hardy at shortstop, Jonathan Schoop at second base and a combination of Chris Davis and Steve Pearce at first base. Ryan Flaherty is currently slated to be the backup infielder, and the club also has Jimmy Paredes on the 40-man roster, so Nix seems likely to end up at Triple-A to serve as depth at this juncture. He’s a career .280/.344/.443 hitter at that level.



Minor Moves: Leach, Nix, Pirates, Martin, Brown

The Brewers have re-signed left-hander Brent Leach to a minor league contract with an invitation to big league Spring Training, MLBTR has learned (Twitter link). The 31-year-old Leach has an opt-out clause as well as Asian buyout language worked into his contract. Leach enjoyed a solid campaign at Triple-A Nashville last year, posting a 3.28 ERA with 10.3 K/9 and 4.2 BB/9 while holding lefties to a .220/.331/.330 batting line.

Some more minor moves from around the game…

  • Infielder Jayson Nix elected free agency rather than accepting an outright assignment from the Royals, according to the club’s transactions page. The seven-year veteran is a career .212/.282/.345 hitter that has shown a bit of pop and some speed while playing third base, second base, shortstop and the outfield corners in the past.
  • The Pirates announced that they have signed outfielder Gorkys Hernandez, catcher Sebastian Valle and third baseman Deibinson Romero to minor league deals with Spring Training invites. Hernandez, 27, saw big league action with the Bucs back in 2012 and spent parts of four seasons in their minor league system. He’s a .272/.340/.367 hitter at the Triple-A level. Valle, 24, was formerly one of the Phillies’ top prospects per Baseball America, but his bat never caught up to his glove. He’s a lifetime .234/.265/.384 hitter at Double-A and has minimal Triple-A experience. Romero, 28, has spent his career with the Twins but never reached the bigs. He has a .266/.366/.412 line in two seasons at Triple-A.
  • The Dodgers announced that lefty Jarret Martin has been outrighted to Triple-A after being designated for assignment upon the club’s acquisition of Mike Bolsinger. The 25-year-old had a 3.29 ERA with 64 strikeouts in 54 2/3 innings at Triple-A last year, but he also walked an alarming 48 batters.
  • Outfielder Corey Brown has signed a minor league deal with the Rays, per a tweet from his agents at O’Connell Sports Management. The 29-year-old is a Tampa native that has batted .171/.244/.390 with a pair of homers in 46 big league PAs to go along with a career .249/.326/.458 batting line at Triple-A.

Royals Claim Jayson Nix From Pirates

The Royals have claimed infielder Jayson Nix off waivers from the Pirates, Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star tweets. Nix was designated for assignment by Pittsburgh on Monday.

Nix, 31, has bounced around a good deal this year, and will now join his fourth organization on the season. He brings plenty of positional versatility to the table, though his lifetime .214/.284/.347 triple-slash does not give much reason for significant expectations. On the year, Nix has slashed .133/.188/.173 in 82 big league plate appearances.

Kansas City will look to make use of Nix as a part of its September roster expansion plan, as McCullough tweets that the team may not even activate him until after the end of the month.


Pirates Designate Jayson Nix For Assignment

The Pirates announced that they have designated infielder Jayson Nix for assignment in order to clear roster space for Jose Tabata.

The 31-year-old Nix appeared in 16 games for the Pirates this season but totaled just 39 plate appearances and batted just .111/.158/.111. In 82 combined plate appearances between the Pirates and Phillies, he’s batted .133/.188/.173. While those numbers aren’t exactly enticing, Nix does have a 12-homer and a 14-homer season under his belt, and he’s posted double-digit stolen base totals twice as well.

Overall, Nix is a lifetime .214/.284/.347 hitter in 1456 Major League plate appearances between the Rockies, White Sox, Indians, Blue Jays, Yankees, Rays, Phillies and Pirates. He has experience at second base, shortstop, third base and both outfield corners, though his outfield work has been fairly limited.

Tabata’s recall was first reported earlier today along with the news that the Pirates will briefly demote top prospect Gregory Polanco to Triple-A. Polanco is expected to rejoin the team on Sept. 1 when rosters expand and will, of course, still be eligible for postseason play. He’s in the midst of a woeful 1-for-30 slump, however, whereas Tabata has been swinging well at Triple-A Indianapolis of late, hitting .349/.404/.422 over his past 22 games.


Pirates Sign Jayson Nix

The Pirates announced that they have signed outfielder Jayson Nix.  The veteran is expected to be active for today’s game against the Diamondbacks.  To make room for Nix, the Bucs designated Dean Anna for assignment.

Nix signed with Tampa Bay in January as a non-roster player before being shipped to the Phillies in March for cash.  The Phillies went on to outright Nix in May, allowing him to return to the Rays, who released him late last week from their Triple-A affiliate.  Nix, who turns 32 later this month, was originally drafted 44th overall by the Rockies in 2001 and he’s suited up for six different franchises over his seven years in the majors.

The Pirates claimed Anna, 27, off waivers from the Yankees in July after he was DFA’d.  He hasn’t set the world on fire this season but he’s only a year removed from being a Pacific Coast League All-Star and leading the PCL in batting average while producing a .331/.410/.482 line in 132 games for the Padres’ Triple-A affiliate


Rays Release Jayson Nix

The Rays have released Jayson Nix, Baseball America’s Matt Eddy reports (via Twitter).  Eddy notes that Nix was granted his release from the minor league deal that the veteran infielder originally signed with Tampa in May.  The newly-acquired Nick Franklin was assigned to the Triple-A roster in a corresponding move.

This was the second of two minor league contracts Nix signed with the Rays in 2014, and in between he was acquired by the Phillies and appeared in 18 games, posting a .445 OPS in 43 PA.  Nix, who turns 32 later this month, was originally drafted 44th overall by the Rockies in 2001 and he’s suited up for six different franchises over his seven years in the majors.


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.