In fact, you could argue that the Phillies did little more than shed 8 years of age in bidding adieu to 39-year-old Raul Ibanez in favor of Nix. Put it this way: Ibanez' 2011 performance, when he hit .245 with a .289 on-base percentage, .419 slugging percentage, 106 strikeouts and 20 home runs, was the worst of his 10 seasons as an everyday player. And those numbers are better than the ones that Nix has posted for his career: .244/.288/.430, with an average of 120 strikeouts and 17 home runs per 162 games.
As of last night, the 2-year deal was still unofficial and the exact terms unknown. Nix will take a physical in Philadelphia this week, after which the Phillies are expected to announce the signing. The Phillies could still look for an upgrade in left - Michael Cuddyer was an early target, but there has been no indication that the two sides can match up on a deal - and slide Nix into a bench or rotational role. For now, though, the club seems intent on giving Mayberry the opportunity they feel he earned in 2011, when he hit .273/.341/.513 with 15 home runs and eight steals in 296 plate appearances.
A platoon situation would not make much sense, at least before Mayberry gets an extended chance to prove himself. The righthanded slugger performed just as well against righties as Nix did in 2011, posting a .250/.330/.455 line with seven home runs, 37 strikeouts and 18 walks in 176 plate appearances (Nix hit .263/.306/.475 with 16 home runs, 71 strikeouts and 19 walks in 320 plate appearances against righties). More likely would be a platoon at first base if Ryan Howard starts the season on the disabled list. Nix started six games at first last season and did not commit an error, although it was his first action at the position in his career. He could combine with righthanded hitter Ty Wigginton if Howard's recovery from Achilles' tendon surgery stretches into the season.
Nix, who spent time with the Rangers, Brewers and Reds before moving on to the Nationals, earned $700,000 last season.