Phils acquire infielder Nix, option reliever Aumont

Brignac informed he doesn't make team as club tries to round out bench, 'pen

Phils acquire infielder Nix, option reliever Aumont

PHILADELPHIA -- Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. insisted Friday afternoon not every decision had been made about his club's Opening Day roster.

"It'll probably go way up until then," he said about Sunday's 3 p.m. ET deadline to set the roster.

The reality is much different behind the scenes. Amaro, manager Ryne Sandberg and a host of front-office executives, scouts and coaches have watched every player in camp for the past six weeks. They have a clear idea who will make the roster in time for Monday's season opener in Texas. In fact, they are likely to have everything finalized following Saturday's exhibition game against the Pirates at Citizens Bank Park.

The Phillies took a few steps closer to that outcome following Friday's 3-0 loss to the Pirates. They announced they had acquired infielder Jayson Nix from the Rays for cash considerations, immediately adding him to the 40-man roster. They also optioned right-hander Phillippe Aumont to Triple-A Lehigh Valley and informed infielder Reid Brignac, who had been in camp as a non-roster invitee, that he would not make the team.

The Phillies needed bench help. After losing infielder Freddy Galvis to MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) and outfielder/first baseman Darin Ruf to a strained left oblique, the club in the last week outrighted infielder Kevin Frandsen, who opted for free agency and signed with Washington, and released infielder Ronny Cedeno and outfielder Bobby Abreu.

Nix, 31, hit .236 with three home runs, 24 RBIs and a .619 OPS in 87 games last season with the Yankees. He started 48 games at shortstop and 41 at third base, presumably making the Phillies feel a little more comfortable about their backup shortstop situation while Galvis recovers from his infection.

Nix has hit .218 with a .647 OPS over parts of six seasons with the Rockies, White Sox, Indians, Blue Jays and Yankees.

The Phillies now have five locks for their bench: catcher Wil Nieves, infielders Cesar Hernandez and Nix, and outfielders Tony Gwynn Jr. and John Mayberry Jr.

"I like my bench," Amaro said. "I'll like it more when we finish it off, but to me, it's about being versatile and making sure we have guys who can go out there and play. But the people we have on our radar screen as far as rounding it out, I like the versatility."

The Phillies have considered carrying a six-man bench the first two weeks of the season because they do not need a fifth starter until April 13. But they seem so thin, they could carry eight relief pitchers instead.

The Phils have four locks for the bullpen: closer Jonathan Papelbon, left-hander Antonio Bastardo, left-hander Jake Diekman and right-hander Brad Lincoln. They have five candidates for the remaining three or four spots: right-handers B.J. Rosenberg, Justin De Fratus, Shawn Camp and Jeff Manship, and left-hander Mario Hollands.

Aumont went 0-2 with a 2.77 ERA in 10 Grapefruit League appearances. He allowed nine hits, four earned runs, seven walks and struck out three in 13 innings. He simply needs more fine-tuning.

"We have some guys that have pitched pretty well," Amaro said.

The Phillies have two spots available on the 40-man roster. That comes into play with non-roster players like Camp, Manship and Hollands.

Austin Laymance is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter at @jalaymance. Todd Zolecki is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.