Laynce Nix Rumors
Nix, who turned 31 on October 30, hit .250/.299/.451 in 351 plate appearances for the Nationals last season. The journeyman is known for his ability to hit for big power against right-handed pitching (career .198 ISO versus righties), but he doesn't get on base much and his career .506 OPS against southpaws shows he's definitely a platoon player.
Nix, a client of Gaylord Sports Management, has signed minor league deals in each of the past four offseasons. He has experience at all three outfield positions (primarily left field and center field), and both UZR and DRS suggest that his defense has been a positive throughout his career. The A's and Red Sox were also interested in signing him, reports Amanda Comak of the Washington Times.
Luke Adams contributed to this post.
Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, MLB.com's Jane Lee, and Joe Stiglich of the Bay Area News Group bring us some Athletics-related tidbits out of Dallas...
- The Royals have some interest in Gio Gonzalez, and one scout views them as a good match for the A's, given Kansas City's deep farm system.
- GM Billy Beane has no reservations about trading with other teams in the AL West.
- Beane says he's had trade talks in some form with about half the teams in the league so far at the meetings.
- Hideki Matsui likely won't be back in Oakland, since the team has other in-house options and would like to "stay young."
- The A's will also be looking to stay young in trades, as they'd be targeting players younger than those they'd be dealing.
- Beane says the A's may explore short-term free agent signings to fill the club's outfield if he can't work out any trades.
- There's still no word on an official date for a decision on the team's stadium situation, but Beane remains optimistic that he'll hear soon.
- The A's discussed a deal with Laynce Nix before he signed with the Phillies.
On this date in 1973, Tom Seaver of the Mets won the NL Cy Young award, becoming the first pitcher to take home the prize with fewer than 20 wins. We checked in on the Mets earlier tonight; here are some updates on their division rivals...
- Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post gets the sense that the Marlins could convince Javier Vazquez to return for another season if they offer him $10MM for 2012.
- The Marlins have some interest in re-signing Greg Dobbs, but not in bringing Jose Lopez back, according to Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald.
- There's "nothing substantial" developing between the Nationals and free agent outfielder Laynce Nix, according to Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post. The sides have discussed a deal for 2012 and Nix has interest in returning to D.C. for another season.
- David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution doubts that the Braves would dangle Jair Jurrjens in trade talks because his knee injury reduces his trade value (Twitter link). Jurrjens spent much of August on the disabled list with a right knee strain and didn't pitch in September.
The Phillies will attempt to advance to their fourth consecutive NLCS on Friday, when former teammates Roy Halladay and Chris Carpenter face off in Philadelphia. Until then, we've got some links from the NL East to keep you entertained...
- Mark Zuckerman of NatsInsider says the Nationals could have room on their roster for Rick Ankiel next year, though it would probably be as a fourth outfielder. There's "virtually no chance" the Nationals re-sign Laynce Nix and Ankiel, according to Zuckerman. Jonny Gomes could be back, but the out-of-options Roger Bernadina isn't assured of a roster spot going forward.
- The Mets announced that Johan Santana will rest to prepare for the 2012 season instead of playing winter ball or pitching more in the instructional league. GM Sandy Alderson says he's optimistic that Santana will "maintain a Spring Training schedule with all other Mets pitchers next February and will be ready for the start of the 2012 season." The Mets owe the left-hander $24MM in 2012, $25.5MM in 2013 and at least a $5.5MM buyout in 2014.
- The Mets also announced that bench coach Ken Oberkfell, third base Coach Chip Hale, first base coach Mookie Wilson and bullpen coach Jon Debus won't be back in 2012. The A's signed Hale to be manager Bob Melvin's bench coach for the next two years.
Nats centerfielder Rick Ankiel may not be able to return to action when he's able to come off the disabled list next week. From the standpoint of delaying decisions, that might be a good thing, writes Ben Goessling of MASNSports.com.
Roger Bernadina has filled in at leadoff hitter and center fielder, and manager Jim Riggleman says that he'd like to keep it that way. If he remains in that role, it would leave Ankiel, Laynce Nix and Michael Morse to fight over playing time in left.
Other than optioning Bernadina back to Triple-A Syracuse, the club won't have many ways to fit everyone in. Riggleman says that the club will figure things out when Ankiel is healthy, a point that could be approaching soon.
Here's a potpourri of news items as we head into the weekend...
- Chipper Jones talks to MLB.com's Anthony Castrovince about his recovery from knee surgery and his future in baseball. Jones was thinking of retirement last summer before, as Castrovince writes, "he started to hit like Chipper Jones again....And where the knee injury might have been the straw that broke the camel's back in June, in August, it served as a motivating factor to keep going."
- Laynce Nix has the been the subject of trade rumors, reports MLB.com's Bill Ladson. Nix has a .251/.293/.445 career slash line against right-handed pitching and the Astros are reportedly in the market for a left-handed bench bat. Nix is currently in the Nationals' Spring Training camp on a minor league contract.
- Star prospect Mike Trout is turning heads at the Angels' Spring Training camp, reports MLB.com's Lyle Spencer.
- The Rockies will look internally to replace the injured Aaron Cook, reports Troy Renck of the Denver Post. Already suffering from shoulder inflammation, Cook will be out until at least May due to a broken finger on his throwing hand.
- Tyler Kepner of the New York Times looks at the Rangers' offseason and how the team had a more-than-adequate "plan B" (Adrian Beltre) in mind when they failed to re-sign Cliff Lee.
- Jake Odorizzi might end up being the most important piece of the trade package the Royals received for Zack Greinke, says MLB.com's Dick Kaegel.
- Mariners manager Eric Wedge has brought a number of former Indians coaches and players with him to Seattle, writes Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
- Brandon Wood has struggled this spring, while Mark Trumbo has had a big camp for the Angels. Mark Saxon of ESPNLosAngeles.com thinks Trumbo's emergence means that the out-of-options Wood's "days in an Angels uniform appear to be numbered."
- It was almost a year ago that Red Sox prospect Ryan Westmoreland underwent life-threatening brain surgery. Today, MLB.com's Evan Drellich writes that "doctors have already been amazed at the speed of his recovery" as Westmoreland is trying hard to regain both his basic motor skills and his baseball abilities.
Nix hit .291/.350/.455 in 182 plate appearances for the Reds last year and hit 15 homers the year before that. Though he hit southpaws well in 2010, he has struggled against them over the course of his career so manager Jim Riggleman could choose to limit the 30-year-old's exposure against left-handers. Nix has lots of experience in center field, but has spent most of his time in left since 2007.
Washington traded outfielder Justin Maxwell to the Yankees so this signing helps the team restore depth. Rick Ankiel, Roger Bernadina, Nyjer Morgan, Michael Morse and Jayson Werth are among the Nationals' other outfield options.
- The Hermida signing does not mean the team is done looking for a lefty hitting outfielder to platoon with Jonny Gomes. "We’re still looking at other guys," said GM Walt Jocketty. "But we’re going to give him a good opportunity. Hopefully, we can bring in some other guys to compete. Competition is a good thing."
- "Possibly," replied Jocketty when asked about the possibility of bringing Laynce Nix back. "We haven’t talked about it lately. We've been concentrating on other guys." The Mariners offered Nix a contract last month.
- Jocketty confirmed that there is nothing new with Edgar Renteria. The club spoke to the shortstop's representatives recently, though he is talking with the Giants again.
Let's take a look at some Reds-related tidbits courtesy of The Cincinnati Enquirer's John Fay..
- Fay writes that "it is believed" that the Reds have made an offer to free agent shortstop Edgar Renteria. The veteran said that the Giants' offer of $1MM showed "a lack of respect", leaving the Reds with a chance of signing the 2010 World Series MVP.
- The news of Carlos Gonzalez's impending seven-year, $80MMM deal with the Rockies will likely have a ripple effect on the Reds' talks with Joey Votto. Reds GM Walt Jocketty says that he hasn't seen the numbers on Cargo's new contract but Cincy can expect Votto to ask for even more money. The 27-year-old, Fay writes, had two very good years prior to his brilliant season in 2010 while last year was Gonzalez's first in the majors. Jocketty says that he hasn't talked to Votto's representation in recent weeks however due to the holidays.
- The Reds are reportedly close to signing Jeremy Hermida to a minor league deal but they may continue to look for a left-handed hitting outfielder. Jocketty confirmed that he talked to the agents for Fred Lewis and Scott Podsednik before the holidays.
- Speaking of left-handed hitting outfielders, the Reds haven't had any recent contact with Laynce Nix. The Reds were under the impression that Nix was Seattle-bound after receiving a contract offer from the M's in December, but no deal has been reached.
Photo courtesy of Icon SMI.
Nix, 30, hit .291/.350/.455 in 182 plate appearances across 97 games for the Reds this year, playing mostly left field. He was shielded against lefties by manager Dusty Baker. Nix missed most of September with an ankle injury and was outrighted in November.