Mets activate Nixon, but debut shelved by rain

NEW YORK -- Trot Nixon, acquired by the New York Mets in a trade the previous night with Arizona, arrived about 25 minutes before the scheduled first pitch Saturday night and was activated for the game against the Texas Rangers.

The 34-year-old outfielder was delayed arriving from Triple-A Tucson, where he had been toiling with the Diamondbacks' minor league club since failing to make the big league roster out of spring training.

Turns out it didn't matter. The game was delayed by rain.

Known for his gritty playing style and sometimes surly demeanor, Nixon was hitting .309 with 10 homers and 31 RBIs in 58 games with Tucson. He had an option in his contract that would have made him a free agent June 2, a deadline that he and Arizona extended.

Nixon is expected to fill the void left by Moises Alou, who went back on the disabled list Friday with a lingering calf strain, and shore up an outfield that is already missing Ryan Church because of post-concussion syndrome and Angel Pagan due to a sore shoulder.

"I've got a lot of respect for Trot and the way he plays," Mets manager Willie Randolph said. "He's one of those focused players that I really like."

Nixon hit .251 with three homers and 31 RBIs in 99 games last season with Cleveland, but was at his best in the playoffs. He was 5-for-11 with a homer and three RBIs against the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox.

He has a .275 batting average in 11 big league seasons, 10 with the Red Sox. Nixon had his best year in 2003, when he batted .306 with a career-high 28 homers and 87 RBIs, and a year later helped Boston win the World Series.

"He's been on very successful ballclubs and I like the way he grinds," Randolph said. "He plays with a lot of intensity. I like that in him."

Outfielder Chris Aguila was designated for assignment to clear roster space for Nixon.