Jayson Nix is back with the Rays. The Rays traded the utilityman to the Phillies at the end of March for cash considerations, and the Phillies put him to use, playing him at second base, third base, and shortstop. However, he posted a meager .445 OPS in 43 plate appearances and the Phillies outrighted him to Triple-A Lehigh Valley on Monday. Rather than accept the assignment, Nix elected free agency.
Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish reports that the Rays have signed Nix to a minor league deal with an opt-out date of July 15. Nix, 31, will report to Triple-A Durham. With Ben Zobrist sidelined with a dislocated thumb, Nix will serve as infield depth behind Logan Forsythe, Sean Rodriguez, and Cole Figueroa.
The Rays have traded right-hander Jake Odorizzi to the Twins, per team announcements on Saturday evening. The Twins will receive minor league shortstop Jermaine Palacios in the deal. Despite previous speculation, recently-DFA’d outfielder Corey Dickerson was not included in the trade.
With Odorizzi, the Twins finally have the front-end starter they’ve been seeking all winter. It’s a bargain deal as well, as the 27-year-old righty is under contract through 2019 and didn’t require the club to part with any of their top-shelf prospects in the trade. Odorizzi will be looking to stage a comeback in 2018 after a dismal performance with the Rays last year, during which he eked out a career-worst 4.14 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 8.0 SO/9 through 143 1/3 innings.
Palacios, 21, ranked no. 27 in the Twins’ system last season. He split his year between Single-A Cedar Rapids and High-A Fort Myers, raking a combined .296/.333/.454 with 13 home runs and 20 stolen bases in 539 plate appearances. He’s expected to continue developing at shortstop, though he’s also seen limited time at second and third base during his four-year career in the minors.