Trot Nixon Signing Becomes Official

The Arizona Diamondbacks officially signed outfielder Trot Nixon today to a minor league contract, as announced by D-backs senior vice president and general manager Josh Byrnes.

Trot Nixon, 33, has a .275 batting average (989-for-3,592) in 1,081 games over parts of 11 major league seasons. He has hit 221 doubles, 28 triples, 136 home runs and has 554 RBI in his career. Nixon played the 2007 season for Cleveland coming off back surgery, batting  a disappointing .251 (77-for-377) with 17 doubles, 3 home runs and 31 RBI over 99 games for the Indians.

This year, Nixon primarily serves as insurance for another injured player.  Chad Tracy underwent microfracture surgery on his right knee in September, and will likely begin the 2008 season on the disabled list.  Although Nixon has never played a major league game at first base, he would serve as primary backup to Conor Jackson at that position, as well as become the team's primary left-handed bat off the bench until Tracy's return.

The Diamondbacks insisted that they were happy with their five-man outfield of Eric Byrnes, Chris Young, Justin Upton, Jeff Salazar, and Chris Burke.  One would have to surmise, however, that if Nixon put together an especially strong showing while filling in for Tracy, that he could supplant a struggling outfielder in May.

Nixon spent his first 10 major league seasons with Boston after being selected by the Red Sox in the first round (seventh overall) in the 1993 draft. He was named the Red Sox Minor League Player of the Year by the Boston BBWAA in 1998 and then shared Red Sox Rookie of the Year honors with Brian Daubach the following year.  He is one of the few hitters in Red Sox history that did not take great advantage of Fenway Park's unusual dimensions, having actually performed better on the road for his career.

Nixon earned the Thomas A. Yawkey Award in 2001, presented to the Red Sox team MVP by the Boston BBWAA. The Wilmington, NC native hit .280 that season (150-for-535), scored 100 runs, had 31 doubles, 27 home runs, and 88 RBI.


Want to write for FutureBacks.com?  FutureBacks is now opening internships for the upcoming 2008 season.  If you live near one of the six Diamondbacks minor league affiliates, know baseball, and have a writing background, send your resume and two sample pieces of writing (at least one of which must be a journalistic piece about baseball) to future_backs@yahoo.com.   Applicants must be able to attend a minimum of three games per homestand, and students looking for course credit must get approval from their instructors. 

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