The Tampa Bay Rays signed Jayson Nix to a minor league contract today, meaning that the former first round pick - who has mainly served as a utility infielder during his time in the majors - will be staying in the AL East after the Yankees non-tendered him at the beginning of December.
Sources: #Rays to sign free-agent IF Jayson Nix to minor-league deal.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) January 9, 2014
The deal also includes an opt-out clause if Nix is offered a major league job by the end of Spring Training.
From a Yankee stand point, the decision to let Nix go made sense, as he was quite underwhelming in his time with the team. In 2012, he hit .243/.306/.384 with an 87 wRC+, and in 2013, he was even worse, hitting .236/.308/.311 with a wRC+ of 70. However, the Rays may find some slight value in his defense (he posted a 4.0 defensive fWAR last year, and a 6.6 UZR/150 in his time at shortstop, the position where he spent the most time last year).
The Yankees mainly used him to fill in for the injured Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez in 2013, as he played over 600 innings combined at the two positions on the left side of the infield. Surely, no one is too brokenhearted to see him go, as Nix's lack of production certainly contributed to the offensive woes that plagued the Yankees for much of the season. Still, New York might miss having him as a bench option (especially if A-Rod is suspended and Eduardo Nunez becomes the fill-in at third).
But they won't miss him that much.
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