The Kansas City Royals made a minor move Thursday, acquiring infielder Jayson Nix from the Pittsburgh Pirates after claiming him off waivers, according to Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star. The Pirates had previously designated Nix for assignment on Monday.
The 32-year-old Nix has had somewhat of a strange year, originally signing with the Tampa Bay Rays in January before heading to the Philadelphia Phillies, back to the Rays, and finally, the Pirates, with whom he signed a major league deal earlier this month. While he has had two stints with the Rays this season, he has only played in the majors for the Pirates and Phillies, hitting .133/.188/.173 with a -0.6 WAR in 82 plate appearances. A seven year big league veteran, and former first round pick, Nix has spent time with the Yankees, White Sox, Rockies, Pirates, Phillies, Indians, and Blue Jays, batting .214/.284/.348 with a 2.8 WAR in 459 career games.
Nix's acquisition comes at a time when Royals' second baseman Omar Infante has been dealing with shoulder soreness that has cost him a number of games in recent days. Kansas City will likely use Nix in a utility role over the final month of the season, as the Royals gear towards their first postseason berth in nearly three decades. As McCullough notes, Nix may not be activated until rosters expand on September 1st, making him ineligible to play in the postseason.
To make room for Nix on the 40-man roster, the Royals placed reliever Michael Mariot on the 60-day DL. Kansas City also activated left-hander Scott Downs, who has a 3.48 ERA in 12 appearances since signing with the club after a dreadful first half with the White Sox, from the DL. To make room for Downs, right-hander Liam Hendricks was optioned to Double-A Northwest Arkansas.