On Thursday afternoon, FanRag Sports’ Robert Murray reported that the Boston Red Sox had signed free agent infielder Eduardo Nunez to a one-year deal. The deal includes an option for second year and is pending a physical.
The Red Sox have not confirmed the signing. Boston acquired the utility infielder from the San Francisco Giants on June 26, 2017 for two minor league right-handed pitchers.
Nunez, 30, appeared in 38 games with the Red Sox last season at second base, third base, and shortstop, hitting .321 with eight home runs and 27 runs batted in. His initial stint with the Sox ended prematurely as he aggravated a knee injury in the American League Championship Series against the Houston Astros.
He also missed the bulk of September with a sprained posterior cruciate ligament. It’s for that reason that there is some concern that Nunez will fail his physical. However, the knee ailment did not require offseason surgery.
In the full scope of the 2017 season with San Francisco and Boston, the former New York Yankees pupil slashed hit .313 with an on base percentage of .341 and a slugging mark of .460, all of which were career highs.
Nunez is a sneakily good signing for a relatively young Red Sox squad. In 114 games, Nunez totaled 146 hits and a career-best 33 doubles. The versatile infielder has 4.8 wins above replacement (FanGraphs model) over the past two seasons.
He can slot into the second base position with ease as Pedroia is expected to miss the beginning of the season, and if the 19-year-old Devers struggles under the pressure of Major League Baseball, Nunez plays a servicable third base.
Nunez is solid around the bases with 24 steals in 2017, and remains a slightly above average presence at the plate when healthy. His defense is decent, and he has been regarded as team-first dugout guy, which helps with the development of young guns like Xander Bogaerts and Andrew Benintendi.