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