The Royals today claimed infielder Jayson Nix off waivers from Pittsburgh, the team announced. A corresponding move to the active 25-man roster will not be made until Nix reports. To make room on the 40-man roster for Nix, the Royals placed pitcher Michael Mariot on the 60-day disabled list.
The 32-year old right-handed hitting Nix has played parts of seven Major League seasons, hitting .214/.284/.347 in 1,456 plate appearances. He can play all over the field, with experience at second base, shortstop, third base, and both corner outfield positions. His best year came in 2010 with the White Sox and Indians, when he hit .224/.281/.396 with 14 home runs. This year he has split time with the Phillies and Pirates, hitting .133/.188/.173 in 82 plate appearances.
Originally a first-round pick by the Rockies in 2001, Nix has played for them, the White Sox, the Indians, the Blue Jays, the Yankees, the Phillies, and the Pirates. He can serve as another utility infielder, which is important while Omar Infante is out of action.
The Royals also activated pitcher Scott Downs off the disabled list today and optioned Liam Hendriks back to AAA Omaha.
EDIT: Hendriks was optioned to AA Northwest Arkansas, not Omaha.