The last memory Boston Red Sox fans have of Eduardo Nunez is the utility player getting carried off the field at Minute Maid Park during Game 1 of the American League Division Series.
It was the re-aggravation of a knee injury that derailed the final month of what otherwise had been a stellar tenure with the Sox, and it certainly left Nunez in a bit of limbo once it came to contract negotiations for the then-free agent.
Now that he is on the other side of a tense offseason, Nunez was candid about his incessant worry before signing with Boston when discussing the matter with WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford.
“I wasn’t sure about my knee,” Nunez told Bradford about his thoughts once the season ended. “I was concerned. I was not feeling good, so I had to follow my process with my knee. It was a really long process. I didn’t know if the Red Sox (could) believe again in my knee. And I wasn’t confident that I would be healthy. I was more worried (than I let on).”
Many talented free agents remain unsigned following the historically slow offseason, and that sluggishness actually worked in Nunez’s favor. He wasn’t signed until February, but that hardly was because of the quiet market, it was a deliberate move.
“(The Red Sox) wanted me to workout in December but I said no. Multiple teams. It was too soon,” he said. “I told everyone it had to be close to February. But they wanted me to do the first week of December during the Winter Meetings. I said, ‘No chance. No way.’ They said when I was healthy to let them know. So we didn’t talk to anyone for 1 1/2 months.”
But in January, Nunez said things finally clicked and he began feeling normal again, and he remembers the moment quite fondly.
“I sat back with a cappuccino and said ‘(expletive) yeah!’,” Nunez said.
It is expected that Nunez will fill in at second base to begin the season while Dustin Pedroia finishes rehab for a knee injury of his own.