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Xavier Nady signed by the Diamondbacks

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Jon Heyman tweets that outfielder (or first-baseman) Xavier Nady has been signed by the Diamondbacks. Drew Silva adds it's a one-year deal for $1.75 million, plus possibly up to another million in incentives. The Republic reports that Nady was in Phoenix for a physical today; he appeared in 119 games for the Cubs last year, posting a mediocre line of .256/.306/.353, as he recovered from his second Tommy John surgery. The team will be hoping for a bounceback season, and he'll likely see playing time at both 1B and RF, as he platoons with... Well, let's see who it might be, shall we?

The signing has been seen in some quarters as meaning that one of Allen and Parra are surplus to requirements now. I must admit, my first thought was that it was more likely to be Allen, because we are going to need someone to give Chris Young and Justin Upton the (very occasional, admittedly) day off. Nady might be able to play right - that's where he got most of his outfield time with the Cubs last year - but the last time he played center was in 2007, and he has just 45 major-league games at that spot in his career. Maybe we reckon Young will be good for 155+ games, and we can cope with a little bit of Nady there.

It seems the team still has some qualms about Nady's health, with the heavily incentive-laden nature of the contract. I haven't heard at this point what the details of that are, but it's likely to be based on something like days on the active roster: rules prevent it from being based on performance [the reasons for that date back to the Black Sox scandal, as I recall]. I think the Diamondbacks have done something similar when dealing with outfielders before, both Jeff DaVanon in 2006 and Trot Nixon signing incentive-based deals. While Nady missed almost all 2008, his struggles last season seemed less health-related than simple mediocrity.

Unless we make another signing (and there's not much chatter about that), this and the arrival of catcher Henry Blanco seems to lock down almost the entire 2011 roster - and it's not even Christmas. Revisiting what we wrote about the roster last week, here's an updated guess at the position slots. As you'll see, the appearance of Nady doesn't necessarily mean the end for Brandon Allen, as he would still seem a possible contender for the bench. Indeed, that would seem to give us a well-balanced mix, with a switch-hitter (Abreu), two righties (Blum and Blanco) and two lefties (Parra and Allen).

Starting Position Players

  • C. Miguel Montero
  • 1B. Juan Miranda
  • 2B. Kelly Johnson
  • SS. Stephen Drew
  • 3B. Melvin Mora
  • LF. Xavier Nady
  • CF. Chris Young
  • RF. Justin Upton