Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that the Pirates have signed utility infielder Jayson Nix to a one-year major league contract. The club also optioned infielder Brent Morel to Triple-A Indianapolis and designated infielder Dean Anna for assignment.
Nix, 31, started the season with the Phillies but was released in May after posting a mediocre .154/.214/.231 slash line. The Rays — who sent Nix to the Phillies for cash in late March — picked him back up and stashed him at Triple-A but released him on Friday. In 215 plate appearances with Triple-A Durham for the Rays, Nix slashed .274/.341/.411 with three home runs and 16 RBI.
The Pirates picked up Anna off of waivers from the Yankees on July 5, but he never made it back to the majors, instead spending his entire time at Triple-A Indianapolis, finishing with a meager .671 OPS in 57 plate appearances. Morel has a .661 OPS in 292 plate appearances at Triple-A, and a .485 OPS in 17 major league plate appearances this season.
“When Alexander saw the breadth of his domain, he wept for there were no more worlds to conquer.”
Or: “When Theo Epstein won World Series championships with the two most championship-starved franchises in baseball history, he got bored, and decided to run for the Senate or something.”
That latter bit is the premise of a Politico piece speculating that the Cubs president could go into politics one day. The story features an interview with former Obama chief strategist David Axlerod, who thinks Theo has what it takes. Mostly what he has is fame, popularity, good looks and money. No idea what his positions on issue are, but that other stuff goes a long way in politics these days.
Bonus: given what we just elected last fall, a guy who once had a little temper tantrum and dressed up in a gorilla suit is just as viable a candidate as anyone.
When you promote a player from the minors, the first and foremost consideration is whether or not he can help your ball club. But, assuming that’s taken care of, teams should really, really make it a priority to call up dudes with cool sounding names because it makes life more interesting for the rest of us.
The Pirates are doing that. The other night Dovydas Neverauskas made his big league debut. In addition to being the first Lithuanian born-and-raised player in major league history, it’s a solid, solid name. Now the Pirates are making another promotion: Gift Ngoepe.
Yep, Gift Ngoepe. He’s an infielder from South Africa, making the leap to the bigs due to David Freese‘s hamstring injury. Ngoepe, 27, was batting just .241/.308/.379 through 66 plate appearances this season with Triple-A Indianapolis, his ninth in the minors, so he’s not exactly a prospect. But man, that’s a killer name.
It’s also worth mentioning that Gift and Neverauskas were arrested together in a bar fight last August in Toledo, so there is already a good basis for some bonding here.
Good luck, Gift. Gift Ngoepe. Mr. Ngoepe. G-Ngo. Man, I could do this all day.