Alex Anthopoulos and the Jays have made a deal that resembles the 2010 addition of Fred Lewis by adding Jayson Nix today from the Cleveland Indians in return for….future cash considerations! If he adds any value whatsoever to the 2011 season for the Jays, he’ll become yet another shrewd move made by the silent assassin.
There’s no guarantee that he’ll get much playing time as a Jay, but here are some thoughts on the new addition and some information about him.
Drafted: 44th overall in 2001 by the Colorado Rockies
Contract Status: Signed for 2011 and will be Arbitration eligible for the first time in 2012.
Bats: Right Throws: Right
Positions: Nix has experience at 2B, SS, 3B, and a small amount in the OF corners.
Here are my thoughts on the newest Jays acquisition:
- First and foremost, he’s a better and more experienced bench option than Mike McCoy, so he’s a step up in that sense.
- Realistically, he’s being brought in as a guy who can back up Edwin Encarnacion at 3B and can also pinch hit or run if necessary.
- For someone with such a low average and overall line, he is fairly clutch with RISP with a line of .333/.348/.467 with runners on 1st and 2nd (over 45 ABs he has 15 hits in such a situation).
- He doesn’t have overwhelming speed or power, but he can provide a little of both as evident by his 29 extra base hits in minimal playing time in 2010 with the Indians (8.8% rate), and his 10 SBs in 2009.
- With John McDonald possibly leaving after the 2011 season as he will be a FA, Nix could remain with the Jays and take over the middle infield utility role.
- It’s entirely possible that Nix will be sent elsewhere when the Jays bring Brett Lawrie up from the minors.
- With Jose Molina, John McDonald, and now Jayson Nix manning the bench (an automatic addition to the bench since he’s out of options), the Jays will only have room for one of Corey Patterson or Scott Podsednik on the bench once both are healthy, making it an interesting situation to watch once that occurs.
- When Lawrie is brought up from the minors, likely in June, the Jays will have even more decisions to make, as Edwin Encarnacion will likely return to the DH/1B/3B role the Jays had envisioned for him in 2011, pushing Juan Rivera into a bench role which would mean than neither Corey Patterson nor Scott Podsednik would have a spot on the bench unless a move is made. Rivera remains the likeliest to be dealt at this point, but that could change depending on the circumstances at the time.
- Finally, this deal adds some athleticism to the Jays at the most minimal cost anyone could imagine. So how could we not like the deal as Jays fans? He’s not an all-star player, but he has potential to help the Jays out in more ways than one and should fit in very well for the time he remains a Jays player.
I was hoping more for a Chris Nelson or Yonder Alonso type addition, but I can see the appeal in giving up “future cash considerations” for a player like Nix instead of the surely steep price the other mentioned players would cost. It’s possible that the Jays could flip Nix at some point in time with other players in return for a higher rated bench option, but for now, we should be happy to have him on the bench and that the Jays now have more options and competition for the infield bench roles.