M’s add Nady on minor league deal

Xavier Nady  300x185 Ms add Nady on minor league dealThe Seattle Mariners picked up journeyman outfielder and occasional first baseman Xavier Nady on a minor league deal on Tuesday according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. He became a free agent two weeks ago after being designated for assignment by the San Diego Padres who had signed him to a minor league deal prior to the start of the 2014 season. In 42 plate appearances with the Padres this year, Nady owns a .135/.238/.405 line and an 82 wRC+. He also has hit three home runs on the year, two of which came at the notoriously pitcher friendly Petco Park.

The 35-year old has never been anything special as a hitter, but does have a 3.0 fWAR season under his belt when he hit .305/.357/.510 with 25 home runs in 2008 and a career 112 wRC+ against left-handed pitching. Nady spent the entire 2013 campaign in the minor leagues and hasn’t seen semi-regular major league action since 2011 when he was a member of the Arizona Diamondbacks. According to Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune, he’ll report to Triple-A Tacoma where the Mariners will presumably take some time to assess what he can provide to an offence that’s in need of a boost — especially on the right-handed side of things. It’s unfair to expect much out of Nady at this point in his career as he joins a new organization for the ninth time, but at least he provides another option on a very slim depth chart.

Nady should represent an upgrade over Cole Gillespie on the major league roster as he’s proven to be the superior hitter in terms of both power and ability to get on base. Gillespie’s measly career 29 wRC+ against left-handed pitching has strongly limited the number of situations he’d potentially be useful in. Neither player offers much value on the defensive side of the ball, although UZR views Gillespie as an average defender in a limited 92 game sample for his career. Considering both players are essentially at the sample point on the organizational depth chart, one could argue that Gillespie, 29, has age on his side, but given Nady’s 104 career home runs and 99 wRC+, it’s easy to point to him as the superior option at the moment if the roster spot were to come down to a choice between the pair. For what it’s worth, both are right-handed hitters, making that a non-factor.

On the other hand, the club has Stefen Romero sitting on the bench in the fifth outfielder/pinch-hitter role when he probably would be better served seeing regular playing time at Triple-A. The 25-year old now has 112 plate appearances on the season and his .194/.245/.320 line suggests he may be overmatched against major league pitching right now. Prior to tonight’s tilt with the Los Angels Angels, Romero had appeared in the designated hitter role for the past five games while Corey Hart has been on the disabled list and during that time he’s managed just a pair of hits; both came last Thursday against the Houston Astros.

After a couple weeks away from game action it’s unlikely that Nady would be ready for the majors immediately and barring an emergency situation, the club will likely look to get him some at bats before potentially calling him up to take the place of one of the previously mentioned outfielders currently on the roster as. By no means does the signing mean anything’s inevitable — after all, the Padres did cut Nady loose for several reasons — but there’s definitely no harm in adding another piece that may be useful at some point down the road.

In other news, pitcher James Paxton encountered a setback in his rehab process after an MRI revealed inflammation in his left shoulder on Tuesday after he felt sore the day after his minor league rehab start on Saturday. He’s expected to be shut down for the next week and the club will determine his next step at that point in time.

Taijuan Walker is scheduled to start for the Tacoma Rainiers on Wednesday night and is slated to throw approximately 70-75 pitches according to Dutton. With Paxton’s setback, the pair of injured hurlers are approximately back on the same timeline after it looked like the left-hander was a step closer to a return before his setback — both pitchers could be back in the major league rotation around mid-June if everything goes well from here on out.

Written by Tyler Carmont

Entrepreneurial student living in Vancouver with a love of all things baseball, hockey and rock’n’roll. Been riding my polar bear to Safeco for more than a decade. I proudly support all MLB players from the great white north, and long for October baseball to return to the Pacific Northwest.

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11 comments on “M’s add Nady on minor league deal

  1. ripperlv says:

    Just another buck spend on the lottery. JZ continues to try to find value at the replacement level, the never ending search for the million dollar painting at the garage sale. Good luck. This story is just too old.

  2. Scott Goin says:

    Edman,
    Nady refused an assignment to AAA with the Padres. He came here because he thinks he has a really good chance of making the Mariners. Jack likely told him something similar. Seeing Lloyd’s obsession with having right-handed bats against lefties (even if the right-handers don’t hit lefties well), I strongly believe Nady will be called up soon. As such, I gave my opinion on the matter and delved into what possible options they would have for getting him onto the 40-man roster.

    I’m sorry if you were upset by any of this. Since this is the only move the M’s have made with regard to the offense, maybe I over-reacted.

  3. Edman says:

    Jerry, I suggest you read the very first post from Scott Goin, where he’s certain what Nady’s future is, and his affect on the 40-man roster. Nady could be at AAA for the rest of the season. There is nothing wrong with seeing if he as anything left in the tank. Doesn’t cost much to find out.

    It’s a minor league deal, and nothing to get worked up about.

  4. Jerry says:

    Edman,

    Who is speculating?

    Besides, why is it a problem to talk about who could be/will be/should be on the roster? This is a website focused on the M’s and their farm system, right? Even minor transactions are interesting to talk about.

    If you don’t like listening to people talk about the bottom of the M’s roster and AAA depth, maybe you shouldn’t spend so much time on blogs that deal with these things.

  5. Edman says:

    Amazing. Seattle signs a veteran player, who is more likely insurance, than anything else, and the speculators appear. When will the worrying about Endy Chavez begin?

  6. bookbook says:

    Jerry,
    I’d keep Romero on the 40-man (there’s plenty of dross to clear off ahead of him), but he does have options and does need regular reps to become “young talent” in any meaningful sense of the word. Though his probable outcome is 4th outfielder, not all-star.

    edward clifton,
    If you’re right that Taylor is not a good defensive SS, that’s very different than what multiple sources have been saying. I tend to take minor league error rates with a grain of salt (conditions, etc.), but I’m ready to be wrong if need be.

  7. edward clifton says:

    I don’t understand all of this raving about chris taylor the kid has played 25 games at Takoma not a very good ss no power and last year made 33 errors so why would they bring him up

  8. Jerry says:

    bookbook,

    Removing Romero from the roster would result in the M’s losing him forever. No way he would make it through waivers. Throwing away young talent isn’t what the M’s need to be doing right now.

  9. mgvernon says:

    Nady is a spent force of little practical value to the big club. If they need a 40-man spot (most sensibly for Taylor) then Jesus Sucre is the most expendable piece, with Quintero and Pina as catcher backups in Tacoma.

  10. bookbook says:

    I find it hard to get worked up over Gillespie, one way or another. If he–or Romero–were dropped from the 40-man roster, the Mariners would suffer little to no long term effects.

    Nady will make the 2014 M’s better. Not much better, but better.

  11. Scott Goin says:

    Xavier Nady’s career numbers mean very little at this stage in his career. Dropping anyone on the 40-man roster for this guy is a mistake. All he brings is empty power. He doesn’t walk much, he doesn’t hit for average, he doesn’t defend well, he’s not good on the bases, he can’t hit right-handers at all.

    I’d personally like to see more of Gillespie. I think he could be a solid 4th outfielder for us the next few years if they just give him a chance. He’s had fairly even splits during his minor league career so I tend to trust that more than his very limited playing time in the majors.

    Romero should be in AAA, playing every day. It was a gamble to bring him from spring training considering he was only an average hitter in the minors during 2013. But, for some reason, they keep plugging him in there almost every day. He actually only got one legit hit last Thursday. The other was an error by the 3rd baseman on a weak ground ball. The official scorer just had a brain fart.

    We all know Nady is going to be with the Mariners pretty soon. If the move is to release Luetge and put Romero in AAA, I can live with it I guess. Not sure if we can open up a spot on the 40-man roster due to Anthony Fernandez’s Tommy John surgery. If so, maybe that’s an option.

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