BOSTON — In the starting lineup Monday for the first time in 16 days, Eduardo Nunez had just two at-bats before his right knee injury was aggravated on a swing to the point he needed to be removed. Nunez has been out with a hurt PCL (posterior cruciate ligament) injury, which affects the back of the knee.
"We thought that we were more ready than we were," Nunez said. "I'll keep working. Keep positive and hopefully, in two more days we're going to try again.
"My foot got stuck at home plate and we didn't expect that. We didn't expect it was going to be that tough, so we're going to sit down for a few more days. We're going to keep working, do my treatment and hopefully in the series with Houston try again ."
The designated hitter in Monday's 6-4 loss to the Blue Jays, Nunez doubled in his first at-bat. In the third inning, he fouled a pitch away and his leg appeared to buckle under him.
Sox manager John Farrell and a trainer went out to speak with Nunez, who jogged briefly up the third-base line and swung the bat before he was permitted to finish the at-bat. Nunez lined out to third base and walked gingerly to the dugout, with a little limp.
That was it for Nunez, with Sam Travis batting for Nunez the next time up.
Farrell indicated before the game it was possible Nunez would still be bothered by the knee, but said "he’s not putting himself at further risk."
Farrell after the game noted, "We don’t feel like there was added damage, he just aggravated it."
The Astros start a four-game series at Fenway Park on Thursday.
LOS ANGELES - Matt Kemp is returning to the place where he began his major league career, reacquired by the Los Angeles Dodgers on Saturday as part of a five-player trade with the Atlanta Braves that sent former Red Sox first baseman Adrian Gonzalez from L.A. to Atlanta.
The Dodgers sent Gonzalez, oft-injured starting pitchers Scott Kazmir and Brandon McCarthy, infielder Charlie Culberson and cash to Atlanta for the 33-year-old Kemp. Gonzalez then was designated for assignment by the Braves.
After sitting on the sidelines during the recent winter meetings, the Dodgers moved quickly to dump nearly $50 million in salary committed to Gonzalez, Kazmir and McCarthy for 2018. Kemp is owed about $43 million over the next two seasons. Click here for more.
Free agent slugger J.D. Martinez has told the Red Sox he would DH and play the outfield for them, a baseball source said Friday. The flipside: teams are offering Martinez a full-time outfield job, and he enjoys playing the outfield.
Martinez, the best bat available via free agency, visited with teams at the winter meetings this week.
Michael Silverman of the Herald wrote Friday that Martinez has been telling teams he prefers to play the outfield, and suggested the Sox will have to pay a bit more to land Martinez.
“Martinez remains open to being a DH so his preference to play defense regularly does not eliminate the Red Sox from signing Martinez,” Silverman wrote. “It does, however, put them in a position of having to make an aggressive offer that would distance themselves from competing offers where teams can present a corner outfield position.
“Just what defines aggressive is something only Martinez and his agent Scott Boras will ultimately determine.”
The market could start to move a bit now, although that doesn’t mean anything is necessarily imminent. Another baseball source on Friday night noted that the market has started to thaw with Carlos Santana off the board. He agreed to a three-year, $60 million deal with the Phillies.
The Red Sox made an offer for Santana, but the offer made clear that Santana was not their primary choice. In other words, it wasn't close to what Santana ended up with.
A scenario in which Jackie Bradley Jr. is traded to make room for Martinez in the outfield seems reasonable, even if the Red Sox and Boras, who represents Bradley, have both downplayed that possibility.