The Reds resigned Laynce Nix to a minor league contract. I believe bringing Nix back is a good move. He’s a player with big holes in his game who excels in other areas. While Nix hits for a low average, strikes out too much, and doesn’t get on base enough, he is however an excellent defensive OF in LF, RF, or CF, he has very good power, and is a good PH. Most cringe at first glance at Nix slash line due to his poor AVG and OBP. Keep in mind though that his power boosts his offensive numbers such that his 98 OPS+ makes him an average ML hitter. Note that the average major league CF posted a slash line of .266/.334/.414/.748 last season. A lot of teams could do a lot worse than having Laynce Nix in CF. I don’t think he’s necessarily a good fit as the Reds starting CF, I like a Dickerson/Stubbs combo there, since this team is OBP starved and that is not Nix strength. I do think he could be good a part of a LF mix with Balentien or Heisey.

For the Reds next season Nix makes for a good fourth OF who can spell a RH hitter against tough RHs and as a LH hitter with power off the bench. Used correctly he can be an asset to the Reds. I think he has a good chance at making the opening day roster next season given the current roster.

Nix     AB  AVG  OBP  SLG  OPS
2009   337 .239 .291 .476 .767
vs RH  277 .249 .300 .502 .802
PH      34 .235 .350 .441 .791

16 Responses

  1. Fireball44

    I like the signing also, especially if it means we’re one step closer to not keeping Taveras on the roster.

    Nix was a good left-handed pinch-hitter, and I don’t feel awful with him starting for a while if we run into some injuries. Now here’s hoping that the Reds find a way to bring back Gomes as well. I would not feel bad with a Gomes/Nix/Stubbs/Dickerson/Bruce outfield corps going into next season.

  2. Tom Diesman

    There was talk from time to time about a Gomes/Nix platoon in LF. This was even suggested if I remember correctly before the start of last season. But the Reds found the need to run Hairston and Dickerson out there while Taveras played center. Check out the combined numbers of Gomes/Nix from last season.

    NAME AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
    Laynce Nix 309 42 74 26 1 15 46 22 81 .239 .291 .476 .767
    Jonny Gomes 281 39 75 17 0 20 51 26 85 .267 .338 .541 .879
    Total 590 81 149 43 1 35 97 48 166 .253 .309 .507 .816

    Think there is anyone out there on the market for about $3M who can put up those kind of numbers? Think any of the young guys can combine for those numbers?

  3. brublejr

    The move is fine for depth and to give the young guys (Heisey, etc…) more time at the AAA level. Honestly his slash lines are not good, but his ability to be an above average pinch hitter, hit extra base hits, & play good defense in all three spots makes him valuable. I just don’t want him to be starting that often. I think it is going to be Bruce, Stubbs, Dickerson, Balentien, & Nix with Taveras DFA’ed late in spring training. Dickerson/Balentien will battle or platoon in LF and Dickerson will spell Stubbs in CF.

  4. preach

    “A lot of teams could do a lot worse than having Laynce Nix in CF.”

    Like us the last couple of seasons?

    I like the move. I think the Gomes/Nix thing could have worked out and if we would have worked a deal for a bat at catcher or SS, like a Furcal, then I think we could do something in 2010.

    Has Nix ever played first base? He is an outstanding athlete and I wouldn’t mind him being a guy who could come off the bench late to PH or as part of a double switch.

  5. david

    Hate the Nix move. He’s an average defender at best and has piss poor obp which for everyone the editors doesn’t like is the kiss of death.

    Scott Rolen was extended. The reds save five million this season.

  6. Jeff

    Reds Restructure, Extend Rolen’s Contract
    By Mike Axisa [December 19 at 12:35pm CST]

    MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon reports that the Reds and Scott Rolen have restructured the third baseman’s contract, which will keep him in Cincinnati for two additional seasons. The new contract will pay Rolen $23.625MM through 2012, including a $5MM signing bonus deferred without interest over the next three years.

    Rolen’s original contract called for an $11MM salary in 2010, however under the new agreement he’ll earn $6MM next year, and $6.5MM in both 2011 and 2012. The Reds gain about $5MM in payroll flexibility this offseason with the move, something they sorely need.

    The 34-year-old Rolen hit .270/.364/.401 with the Reds after coming over from Toronto at the trade deadline. His defense at third remains outstanding according to UZR. Baseball America recently named third baseman Juan Francisco the team’s fifth best prospect, so he might end up moving to another position or becoming trade bait.

  7. earl

    42 extra base hits in 309 at bats is pretty good and does balance out a bit of the on-base percentage some, that and the fact the guy did have some success as a pinch hitter says to me that Nix is worth giving a shot at a roster spot. I’d get him a first baseman’s glove, get him some reps and see how that goes to try and get a bit more out of him.

  8. John

    Re-signing Nix and letting Gomes walk is just plain dumb for this team.

  9. earl

    I’d say there is probably a million or more bucks difference between what they are bringing back Nix for and a guaranteed contract with Gomes.

  10. brublejr

    @david: I agree he doesn’t get on base near enough (lifetime .277 OBP), but to say he isn’t above average in the field isn’t all that true.

    Nix UZR/150 in ’09
    LF: 12.8
    CF: -40.8
    RF: 93.5
    Total: 15.6

    There is too small sample size for ’09 CF & RF, but his lifetime UZR/150 is 11.7 for all OF positions which is still above average. He can be a useful bench player, but if you have to start him much you will be in trouble.

    • Tom Diesman

      brublejr: There is too small sample size for ‘09 CF & RF, but his lifetime UZR/150 is 11.7 for all OF positions which is still above average.

      It’s worth noting that the UZR/150 numbers for Nix career show CF, which he has spent the most time at, is his strongest position in the OF.

      Career Innings UZR/150
      LF 597.1 9.7
      CF 1746.0 15.0
      RF 327.2 1.9
      Total 2671.0 11.7

  11. Greg Dafler

    @brublejr: Exactly. Low OBP doesn’t mean a player shouldn’t be on the 25-man roster, but if it is low enough then it is really hard to justify being a starter. The Reds had 7 guys play in 81 or more games with OBP under .310.

  12. JustTheFacts

    This has no effect. He signed a Minor League contract for near mimimum. Yawn. It’s good to keep this team together provided to add some missing pieces (i.e. a leadoff hitter.)

  13. preach

    @Tom Diesman:

    I’d rather have him in CF than you-know-who. Heck, I’d rather have his low OBP leading off then have Willy. At least you have more of a chance of an extra base hit.

    Nix is excellent defensively. Always has been.

  14. RiverCity Redleg

    This is a very low risk move. He definitely has value if used correctly. I’d love to see him figure out how to hit the breaking ball from a lefty, or the down and in slider from anybody.

  15. AMOZONS

    All this talk about are outfield/CF…and how I agree with not wanting to even talk about that Willy guy, makes me remember a name that got the CF job a few years back, which kept ( you know who !!! ) in the minors…Corey Patterson !!!
    In all this, you know the name that is the REAL PROBLEM, and he don’t even play on the field. EVERY Reds fan knows who I mean…but in case there is anyone who is young & just getting into Reds baseball…..Dusty is are #1 problem by far. My family have been Reds fans from the 60’s, my dad is 60 and I am 38…the day we found out Dusty was coming we knew that are long wait ( from 1990 ) was going to be many more years. It did not take long for him to ruin us…remember he begged to give his friend Corey the job. Now we have to wait ( years ) before he is gone…then hope AGAIN that we get a home town, old Reds player in there that the city, fans and players all respect and is not just a hired hand, but has his heart in Cincinnati & we all will feel the weight come off our shoulders and know we will be the team to beat very soon. With Walt in place, that should have been the next move. Dusty HAS TO GO. The sooner he goes the sooner we can start as that is the missing link in a great chain…Owner-GM-???-players. We can’t wait to have those ??? filled with a real Reds manager !!! Yes I have some names in mind. Sparky, Sweet Lou, Next please. LOL…Dusty get;s boot, then it is…GO REDS !!!