Eduardo Nunez Inks Deal With Red Sox
In a much-needed move, the Boston Red Sox have re-signed free-agent swiss army knife, Eduardo Nunez. The deal is for one year with an option for 2019 but is pending a physical, which isn’t a sure bet give how his 2017 season ended. Nunez was limited to only 32 at-bats in September due to a sprained PCL and was carted off the field in game 1 of the ALDS against the Houston Astros after re-injuring the knee.
The Red Sox have an agreement to sign Eduardo Nunez pending physical, but given his ailments of last year, that’s not a slam dunk
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) February 15, 2018
Assuming he passes the physical, this is a great move for the Boston Red Sox. Twenty-four hours ago, they had Devin Marrero, Marco Hernandez, or Brock Holt penciled in to start at second on opening day due to Dustin Pedroia not being ready until around the beginning of June. The signing of Nunez gives Boston a major upgrade at the position and boosts their depth for the 2018 season.
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After several seasons as a backup/utility man, Nunez finally got a chance to prove himself as an everyday player in 2016 and hasn’t looked back. He hit .288 with 16 homers and 40 steals in 2016 and followed that up with 12 homers, 24 steals, and a career-high .313 average last season.
Nunez really took off after a mid-season trade from San Francisco to Boston. And when I say took off, I mean he turned into freaking Babe Ruth for a couple of weeks after the trade. He eventually cooled off, but Nunez’s final OPS with Boston in 165 at-bats was a stellar .892, up from .752 in San Francisco.
So, what does this signing mean for Nunez’s fantasy value? Two things. Firstly, he should hold decent fantasy value as Boston’s starting second baseman for the first two months of the season. On top of that, he’ll likely bat first or second in the lineup with guys like Mookie Betts, Andrew Benintendi, Xander Bogaerts, and Rafael Devers around him. For April and May, Nunez very likely will return top-100 fantasy value.
The position eligibility Nunez brings to the table is also valuable. In Fantrax leagues, he’s eligible at second, third, and the outfield, and depending on your league set-up, shortstop is also a possibility. That flexibility is key.
The downside here is the return of Pedroia around June 1. Nunez will likely switch back to a super-utility role, which puts a damper on his fantasy value. Now, Nunez isn’t a normal utility guy, as he’s made clearly evident over the last two seasons. However, unless he learns to play first base, it’s hard seeing him having a starting role on this team after Pedroia’s return unless there’s an injury.
I hope you can use this article to your advantage and get a leg up on your fellow league members. Got a question that I didn’t cover here? Then follow me on Twitter @EricCross04 and ask there.
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