If the Boston Red Sox don’t re-sign Eduardo Nunez, they risk losing another offseason target to the New York Yankees.
The Boston Red Sox had a beautiful relationship with Eduardo Nunez for half a season. Nunez was the impact bat Boston desperately needed, and Boston was the playoff contender Nunez desperately wanted — especially after the San Fransisco Giants had a nightmarish season.
Unfortunately, Nunez saw his stellar season come to a screeching halt when injuries wore down any momentum the right-handed slugger had.
Now, Boston must decide whether that beautiful relationship is worthy of a marriage.
Don’t blink — the New York Yankees are also eyeing a reunion with the veteran, according to Joe Giglio.
While retaining Nunez, 30, isn’t a must for the Red Sox, watching him play in pinstripes for an already stacked lineup would be another tablespoon of salt to an open wound for Boston. The Red Sox have a crowded yet fragile roster, and signing Nunez would be a tremendous reinforcement that gives Boston’s lineup flexibility.
Red Sox first basemen Hanley Ramirez (34) and Mitch Moreland (32) were both injured at some point last season. One could argue Moreland was banged up for more than half the season, never recovering to full form. Additionally, Ramirez’s dreadful history of injuries — and offensive slumps — leaves another question mark to a lineup in need of consistent offense.
Second baseman Dustin Pedroia also has had his fair share of injuries that has derailed his offensive production. While it may take the entire clubhouse to hold Pedroia down from taking the field for 182 games, the reality is the team needs to monitor the 34-year-old’s health. The days of counting on Pedroia for 182 games are over — and the Red Sox need to accept that reality.
The Red Sox need an impact bat who can keep Pedroia fresh. Not Brock Holt nor Deven Marrero. Not Tzu-Wei Lin. Certainly not Marco Hernandez.
What about shortstop Xander Bogaerts? Outfielder Mookie Betts? Both were banged up with multiple injuries for half the season.
Additionally, young players Rafael Devers and Andrew Benintendi could also use time off when experiencing big league struggles.
Who is an impact bat that can play any of those positions? It’s Eduardo Nunez. He’s already proven to be comfortable with playing a super utility role with a smile on his face. The Red Sox will be able to give him his share of at-bats, while allowing the team to stay fresh through the long season.