On the day Rafael Devers made his major league debut, the Red Sox added another piece to help them at the hot corner — and potentially elsewhere.
The Sox and the San Francisco Giants struck a deal that sends third baseman and utility man Eduardo Nunez to the Red Sox in exchange for minor league righties Shaun Anderson and Gregory Santos.
Nunez, a 30-year-old from the Dominican Republic, could prove a versatile bench piece, particularly as Xander Bogaerts and Brock Holt both struggle. The former is dealing with a hand injury. Dustin Pedroia, red hot, also needs to be spelled occasionally because of his left leg, so Nunez could help out in a variety of ways.
But perhaps the bulk of Nunez’s time with the Sox is to be spent at third base, where he fits as a right-handed complement to the left-handed hitting Devers in a platoon.
Nunez is slashing .299/.326/.414 this season against southpaws, with a .263/.294/.412 line against them lifetime.
Nunez this year is batting .307 overall, which would be a career-high for him in a single season. But he doesn’t have much pop, with just four home runs this year and double-digits just once in his career (16 last year).
Defensively, Nunez has played shortstop and third base more than any other position in an eight-year career that brought him from the Yankees (four years), Twins (three years) and the Giants (two years) before the Sox. This year, Nunez has played more games at third than any other position, 48, but the seven errors he’s made isn’t an encouraging total.
Nunez isn't a pricey acquisiton in terms of the luxury tax threshold and salary. He's a free agent after the season and owed the prorated amount of his 2017 salary, roughly $1.5 million.
Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez tweeted an endorsement of Nunez, writing “Eduardo Nuñez plays amazing defense in whatever position he is placed. Red Sox are getting a great guy and player.”
Eduardo Nuñez plays amazing defense in whatever position he is placed. Red Sox are getting a great guy and player— Pedro Martinez (@45PedroMartinez) July 26, 2017
The Red Sox and Mariners were in the middle of a night game in Seattle a little after midnight (on the East Coast) on Wednesday morning when Nunez was seen shaking hands with his Giants teammates.
There’s a small irony at play here. The Giants, of course, recently re-acquired Pablo Sandoval on a minor league deal, with the Sox still paying Sandoval a ton of money. The Giants’ production at third base has actually been worse than the Red Sox’ this season.