The Red Sox need some help at third base. For months now, it has seemed inevitable that Todd Frazier would be coming over from Chicago to fill that hole. Now, Frazier is heading to New York and Boston needs a new course of action. It’s still possible that they’ll stand pat and hope Rafael Devers is ready soon, but I’d still be surprised if that’s plan A. The assumption is that they’ll look for another trade partner. According to USA TODAY’s Bob Nightengale, the Giants could be that trade partner as the Red Sox are keeping an eye on Eduardo Nunez.
Nunez is an interesting possibility that I, admittedly, hadn’t thought a ton about prior to this rumor. The Giants have been shockingly bad this season, and them being sellers at the deadline makes all the sense in the world. Nunez is in his age-30 season and is going to be a free agent at the end of the season, so he’s the perfect candidate to be traded.
There are plenty of positives for Nunez as a player. He makes a ton of contact and has the athleticism and bat-to-ball skills to turn an above-average rate of balls in play into hits. That is a great combination and leads to high batting averages year after year. The righty is also a fantastic base runner and can change the game with his legs alone. Specifically, he has turned into a great base stealer, swiping 40 bases in 2016 and 17 so far this season. With the glove, he is not going to win any Gold Glovers, but as a former shortstop he can at least hold down the hot corner adequately. Not the highest praise, of course, but with Deven Marrero and Tzu-Wei Lin as defensive replacements down the stretch the bat is more important than the glove here.
It’s not all positive with Nunez, though. The biggest issue here is that he isn’t really the kind of hitter they should probably be searching for. What this lineup needs is power, and Nunez has never been more than an average power hitter. Even expecting average power at this point could be wishful thinking. That being said, it’s easier said than done to find power on the market, and they could use improved offense at the position. As a rental, he’d be a cheap upgrade and at least worth looking into.
What do you think? Is Nunez is a reasonable target?