Friday, January 19, 2007

Trot Nixon to Cleveland

The original dirt dog is now an Indian.
ESPN's Peter Gammons reported today that former Red Sox right fielder Trot Nixon has agreed to a one-year contract with the Cleveland Indians for $3 million. The Red Sox had elected not to offer salary arbitration to Nixon, a Type B free agent, who was paid $6.5 million last season. Nixon hit .278 in his 10 seasons with the Red Sox and hit 133 home runs while driving in 523 runs.
Nixon is expected to platoon in Cleveland's right field with Casey Blake. Today's Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that Trot could increase his base salary of $3 million to $5 million this season if he earns all his performance bonuses.
One of Nixon's biggest hits in a Red Sox uniform was an 11th inning walkoff home run on Oct. 4, 2003 as the Sox beat the Oakland A's 3-1 to avoid elimination in their best-of-five AL playoff series.
"All the home runs you hit in your career in the regular season don't mean much unless you start hitting some in the postseason," said Nixon after the game winner. "This is what you play for."
Nixon, a Fenway fan favorite, was with the Red Sox organization for his entire professional career before becoming a free agent at the end of the 2006 season. He spent the last eight years as Boston's starting right fielder, though he had been plagued with a series of injuries over the last few seasons.
"I am confident I am going to get a job,'' Nixon was quoted as saying in yesterday's Wilmington Star. "I can't have what is going on with free agency consume me.''
"I am confident I will be with a team next year,'' Nixon said. "Where, I don't know. My mom asks, 'How are negotiations going? Are there any negotiations?' I'm like, 'Nothing.'
"It is real easy for me to worry because obviously this is the first time I've gone through the free-agent market. I've done plenty of wondering why this or that in the offseason. I don't think I have done anything in my career that has given me a bad name or anything.''
More on Nixon:
"He's a loyal, deep, strong human being that I have a tremendous respect for," Gabe Kapler rold the Globe's Gordon Edes in October. "It was hard to watch without getting emotional, him walking off the field [on Oct. 1], for no other reason than he deserves to be recognized, not because he is or is not coming back to Boston but because he means a whole lot to a lot of people."
"I heard so many great things, I can't thank those fans enough," Nixon said after his last game playing for the Red Sox last October. "Tipping the hat, blowing kisses here or there, that's not me. But maybe they pick up the paper tomorrow and read the fact it truly means a lot to me what they've done for me the eight years I've been here.
"I did care about this organization and did care about this town. This town has been unbelievable for my family and I, absolutely unbelievable."

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