It's flying a bit under the radar, but Laynce Nix is having a very strong year. When he signed as a minor league free agent before the 2009 season, I don't think too many people saw him as much more than minor league depth. However, he made the team out of spring training and proceeded to have a solid year, posting an OPS+ of 98 while providing good defense. He earned just $630,000, but despite his success, he was non-tendered. Apparently there were still a lot of doubters out there, which is understandable when you consider his track record, and because of that, he couldn't find a Major League contract as a free agent. Fortunately for the Reds, they were able to retain him on another minor league contract.
Why do I say 'fortunately'? Well, he has improved quite a bit on his 2009 performance. At the moment, his OPS+ stands at 114, and by every defensive metric I've seen, his defense has improved as well.
Thanks to arbitration, there's no doubt that he'd get a raise on whatever he's earning this year. I don't know how much that is, but I'd imagine it's somewhere between $600k and $1M.
Keeping all that in mind, would you tender him a contract for 2011? Personally, I'm all for it. Here's why:
1.) The free agent options aren't all that impressive.
2.) Although he'll likely get a big raise, it shouldn't be too big thanks to his overall career numbers.
3.) The Reds' outfield depth is thin. There's Jay Bruce, Drew Stubbs, Chris Heisey, and maybe Jonny Gomes.
For reference, here are some of his numbers:
So what do you think? Would you offer arbitration?Code:AS A RED split BA OBP SLG OPS vs. RHP .262 .314 .486 .800 vs. LHP .208 .255 .333 .588 total .256 .308 .470 .779 CAREER split BA OBP SLG OPS vs. RHP .250 .292 .446 .738 vs. LHP .192 .232 .285 .517 total .243 .285 .425 .710