UPDATE: Phillies officially announced the two-year deal Thursday night.
“We got to see Laynce a lot this year with Washington and he is someone we had our eye on going into the offseason,” said GM Ruben Amaro Jr. “He will provide us with extra power off the bench from the left side and can play all three outfield positions.”
The Phillies are nearly done rounding out their bench for the 2012 season, as they have signed 31-year-old outfielder Laynce Nix to a two-year deal, according to CSNPhilly.com's Jim Salisbury. It will be the veteran's fifth team in nine seasons, where he has amassed a less than impressive line of .244/.288/.430.
Like the Ty Wigginton deal before it, Nix is coming to town give some depth off the bench, while serving as an occasional starter -- at a price tag of $2.5 million over two years he isn't going to ruffle any feathers in the accounting department.
Is Nix really that much of an improvement over anyone else that would have taken his spot on the roster? I'm not so sure about that, and his career .288 on-base percentage isn't going to win anyone over. Maybe I'm being too critical of a relatively minor move but if you're looking to improve a perceived weakness, maybe you shouldn't sign a guy who can't get on base with any sort of consistency -- something that is often asked of pinch hitters and part-time players.
However, something that Nix does bring to the table is the ability to hit for power against right-handed pitching. In 1,474 career at-bats against righties, Nix has 62 homers and 88 doubles, good for a .451 slugging percentage, which would give him considerably more value if he is used properly -- that is so say: exclusively against right-handed starters of relievers.
At the end of the day, it's a somewhat insignificant amount of money (considering the bloating payroll, no deal should ever be considered insignificant) for a platoon player, but one that could be effective if used properly. And if nothing else, this move pushes the likes of Wilson Valdez and Michael Martinez a bit further down the depth chart.