After playing for the Blue Jays in 2011, and the Yankees in 2012 and 2013, the former first round pick by the Rockies has elected to stay in the AL East and is reportedly set to sign a minor league deal with the Rays.
Sources: #Rays to sign free-agent IF Jayson Nix to minor-league deal.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) January 9, 2014
31 years old, Nix has gathered more than 300 plate appearances only three times in his career since his promotion with Colorado in 2008. He has a career high 86 OPS+, but don't let that fool you. Nix appears to be a prototypical Rays player.
Mentioned briefly last month on my short list of minor league contract, speedy infielders with a decent defensive reputation, Nix will stand a chance to break camp as the Rays' 25th man.
His value will come by his glove and his feet. Primarily an infielder, Nix has the defensive flexibility the Rays prefer with experience at second, third, short, and the corner outfield positions. He also has speed, this year's added objective, having stolen 19 of 23 attempts while in New York in a season's worth of appearances in pinstripes.
A platoon role will help Nix along should he reach the majors with the Rays. Batting against lefties, the right handed Nix was league average by wOBA (.312) and wRC+ (93) last season, with similar numbers for his career; however, the Rays already have plenty of right handed bats on the projected bench (Molina, Rodriguez, Guyer).
Ideally, Nix will provide valuable depth from Durham, and thanks to his positional flexibility, he could be the first man promoted should an injury occur.
Nix is a favorite of SternFan and MrNeg.
According to SB Nation's Chris Cotillo, there is an opt out clause for Nix if he can find a Major League job elsewhere at the end of Spring Training.
Source confirms that Jayson Nix is going to #Rays. Minor lg deal includes ST invite and and opt-out clause if a major lg job is available— Chris Cotillo (@ChrisCotillo) January 9, 2014