The Pittsburgh Pirates have signed utility player Jayson Nix, according to a team press release. Nix was signed to a Major League deal, and is expected to be active for today’s game. To make room on the active roster, Brent Morel was optioned to Triple-A. Dean Anna was designated for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster. Michael Waterloo first reported the signing last night.

Nix was released by Tampa Bay recently after putting up a .274/.341/.411 line in 215 plate appearances at the Triple-A level. The 31-year-old played in the majors for the Phillies this year, and had a .445 OPS in 43 plate appearances. Last year he had a .619 OPS in 303 plate appearances with the Yankees. In his career, he has a .641 OPS.

Throughout his career, Nix has played all over the field, getting time at second base, third base, shortstop, and the corner outfield positions. His defense has been good everywhere except shortstop, where he’s just an emergency guy. The Pirates were looking for a backup middle infielder, but it seems like this move has a different purpose.

Nix is a super utility guy, which is a role that Josh Harrison was filling. With all of the struggles that Pedro Alvarez has been having, you have to wonder if Harrison will be moving to a full time role at third base, which would leave a need for a utility player who can back up several positions. That’s the only way this move really makes sense.

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43 COMMENTS

  1. Since there’s no post yet on today’s debacle, what the view on if Cutch has to go on DL, should Neal go out and get Byrd if it costs an MLB-ready AAA and an 11-20 prospect? 15 days covers series with Fish, Pads, Tigers, Nats. If it’s an oblique, he’ll be out longer. Amaro should be under considerable pressure to make a deal.

    • I don’t even know if debacle is a strong enough word. The game of baseball never needed replay to make the game more accurate, it needs a system of accountability for umpires. One of the worst calls I’ve seen in a long time. But with McCutchen, I guess it all depends on how long he could be out. They said no structural damage, so I guess it goes back to how he feels. If it does seem like he’ll be out around 4 weeks, then yes, I’m in for Marlon Byrd. But I doubt Amaro will succumb to the pressure in Philly, he never did before and who knows if he’s even coherent enough to know it exists. I can’t see any discount being very big coming from him

    • Then what do you do with Byrd next season? And if his option vests for 2016, you’re really in a pickle.

  2. I don’t think Harrison has any issues at 3B. His arm is solid, his range is good about anywhere you put him and the metrics for 100 games say he his a good 3B although that is not a big sample. Harrison is fine at 3B in the short run on this team for the short run but it is questionable if he will hit for enough power in future seasons. His power is looking pretty good right now though.

  3. Yes but I would like to have a great Pedro then a 31 year old AAA vet. Pedro should of stayed a pull hitter and not tried to be an opposite field punch and Judy guy.

  4. Couldn’t they have found a player to fill this role at Indy – like D’Arnaud? Who has been hitting pretty well of late, offers speed, and can play multiple positions as well??

    Why do the Pirates consistently show lack of faith and trust in their own players in their system? Its like they will only go to them at last resort.

    I love my Pirates, but their overall player personnel decisions over the past 9-12 months leave much to be desired. In my opinion, this team is competing in spite of the front office.

    • I don’t understand. When they promote players like Michael Martinez and Brent Morel, fans groan and complain. But now they don’t show enough trust in their AAA guys because they sign a new guy? I’m not saying you specifically were one of the many groaning and complaining, but I don’t see the lack of faith

      • You totally misunderstood my post and point.

        Neither Martinez or Morel are prospects and neither were drafted and developed by the Pirates. I was speaking about players like d’Arnaud, who was drafted and developed by the Pirates – and still is young enough to warrant prospect status.

    • Welp… actually…. it allows them to replace a 0.1 WAR pedro player with a 3 WAR jay hay. Not much different from replacing vance worley with David price.

      Not a perfect comparison. But letting pedro sit until he figures stuff out is extremely valuable. Or more accurately, it is much less unvaluable.

  5. You know, if you think we are disappointed in Pedro’s performance this season (I feel sorry for him in a way because from what I understand he is a nice person), can you imagine how upset his agent is that the huge payday that his agent was expecting in a year or so may not be on its way!

    • Could be a bonus for the Bucs in the long term. If he can ever get himself on track (Big IF) he may be inclined to stay here instead of moving on. As for the agent, Boros must be punching walls every time Pedro throws one away.

      • That would likely be the case if Bonifacio had a long term deal and the Cubs were in contention, but he was an FA after this season. Cubs did get Braves’ 8th best prospect, a catcher. Not as good a prospect as McGuire, but I suppose unless Neal was willing to give up T. Sanchez or McGuire, Cubs would pass.

  6. I understand the reasons and totally agree with Tim’s assessment. My fear is Harrison full time at third is going to show his defensive shortcomings range wise. I’m not saying it won’t be an improvement because when the ball is hit at him he can get and actually throw to first. For some reason he makes the hard plays to his right at third and good back hand plays, but he doesn’t get much to his left.

    • Harrison might not exactly be a gold glove third baseman, but he is an upgrade over Pedro. Any improvement is still improvement.

    • Right now, we’re all wishing that Pedro’s range was shorter. I’ll take and accurate arm that just sits on the bag.

    • It’d be one thing if harrison was 2013 harrison. But the fact that harrison is hitting so dang well will let me live with any range shortcomings. He is out playing pedro in every aspect of the game this year. . I love pedro, but they have a pennant to win.

        • Now you are just trolling, be better than that. You can be a dick about this or we can have a legit conversations about Harrison and where he has played the best defense. No stat says Cutch is average.

  7. Still think this is a life preserver just in case #18’s back flares up…..hi chee wha wha…..don’t need a DL stint right now.

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