Nationals’ Laynce Nix drawing interest

October 31, 2011

(Nick Wass/AP)

Nix is one of eight Nationals who filed for free agency over the weekend. Until Thursday at 12:01 a.m., teams can have only limited discussion with free agents from other teams. Still, Mitchell has received calls from four clubs interested in Nix, he said.

Nix “loved playing for Davey Johnson, loved the guys on the club,” Mitchell said. “He was excited where it might work out there. There’s certainly some interest in him out there. We’ll see how things transpire. Mike [Rizzo] and I had some discussions about terms for 2012, but nothing materialized.”

Nix served as a frequent starter in left field for the early portion of 2011, and his career-best 16 home runs ranked fourth on the Nationals despite having only 351 plate appearances. Nix hit .250/.299/.451 while playing with a sore Achilles’ tendon that often kept him sidelined. The injury has healed with simple rest, Mitchell said.

Nix fits a similar profile as Jonny Gomes and Rick Ankiel, veteran outfielders who served either platoon or bench roles but still helped define the culture of the Nationals’ clubhouse. All three are free agents, and the Nationals could re-sign one or two, but not likely all three.

Last year, Nix signed a minor league deal with the Nationals late in the offseason. After his performance this year, he will likely land a big league deal as a fourth outfielder.

As expected, none of the Nationals’ free agents earned Type A or Type B status in the official Elias rankings, released today. That means the Nationals cannot receive any compensatory draft choice.

Adam Kilgore covers national sports for the Washington Post. Previously he served as the Post's Washington Nationals beat writer from 2010 to 2014.
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