Maybe, just maybe, Eduardo Nunez is more than a rental.
The Boston Red Sox acquired Nunez from the San Francisco Giants back in July to help solve their third base situation, and he since has thrived in a utility role with his new club. Will this convince the Red Sox to try to re-sign the 30-year-old this offseason, when he’s slated to hit free agency?
If so, Nunez is ready to listen.
“You have to ask the GM if they want me to come back. If they don’t want to sign me, it doesn’t matter. It has to be a mutual goal. But, yeah, I would like to come back,” Nunez told WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford before Monday’s game against the Baltimore Orioles. “It’s a great organization. It’s a great group. Every year you have a chance to go to the playoffs, so that’s a gift.”
When the Red Sox acquired Nunez, the widespread assumption was that he would stick around for a few months, help strengthen a weakness in Boston’s lineup and then move on this winter. Nunez figures to earn a nice payday on the open market, and it could be difficult for him to find playing time with the Red Sox next season barring a major change, especially with Rafael Devers emerging as Boston’s long-term solution at third base at such a young age.
One could argue the Red Sox should explore re-signing Nunez, though. After all, there’s some uncertainty surrounding Dustin Pedroia, who’s 34 with a banged-up knee, and Devers is going through some growing pains after a red-hot start to his career. Brock Holt also has underachieved in a utility role this season, and Chris Young is set to become a free agent. Perhaps cutting ties with one or both will pave the way for Nunez to garner regular at-bats, even if it’s not in one particular spot.
“There’s great players here and I know it won’t be easy to be in the lineup every day,” Nunez told Bradford. “You have to produce to be in the lineup.”
So far, Nunez has produced.
Thumbnail photo via Ken Blaze/USA TODAY Sports Images