Pirates sign free-agent third baseman Nix

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PHOENIX -- The Pirates today signed free-agent infielder Jayson Nix in a move that appears aimed at improving their defense at third base.

Brent Morel was optioned to Class AAA Indianapolis and Dean Anna was designated for assignment.

Nix, 31, was with the Tampa Bay Rays organization, but he exercised his opt-out clause, according to a source, and the Rays released him Friday. He appeared in 18 games with the Philadelphia Phillies this season.

Nix has played in parts of seven major-league seasons for the Colorado Rockies, Chicago White Sox, Cleveland Indians, Toronto Blue Jays, New York Yankees and Phillies. He hit 14 home runs in 2010. In 2013 with the Phillies, his most recent extended big-league stint, he hit .236 with a .308 on-base percentage and .311 slugging percentage.

Nix has spent the majority of his time at third base but can also play second base and shortstop. Pedro Alvarez’s throwing problems have continued, and manager Clint Hurdle benched him Saturday night after three bad throws.

“You’re trying to manage your roster to the best of your ability,” Hurdle said after the game, regarding what was to be done with Alvarez. “You definitely want to take care of every individual player and you’ve also got to take care of the team.”

The Pirates claimed Anna off waivers from the Yankees in early July.

First Published August 3, 2014 12:00 AM

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