Red Sox Free Agency: Time to re-sign infielder Eduardo Nunez

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 02: Eduardo Nunez
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 02: Eduardo Nunez /

When will the Boston Red Sox sign Eduardo Nunez? In 2017 Nunez impressed with his versatility, hustle and clutch hitting. Just bring this guy back!

Give us something, Dave Dombrowski, besides Mitch Moreland. Moreland wanted to be back and was granted his wish as the Boston Red Sox passed over Carlos Santana and Eric Hosmer.

The contract is rather reasonable at two-years and $13 million. Moreland is consistent, and you can probably plug him in for .250/20/80 for 2018. And Moreland is no stiff with the leather.

Meanwhile, there sits another opportunity that would be an excellent fit – Eduardo Nunez. Nunez quickly became a fan favorite just based on his attitude, aggressiveness and dirt dog demeanor, but there was more. The 30-year-old can play this game.

Nunez slashed .321/.353/.539 for his 38 games with the Red Sox.  A right-handed hitter with some surprising pop added eight home runs and 27 RBI to his stat line.  For the 2017 season, Nunez finished with a 2.2 fWAR. He also tacked on another stay on the disabled list – a regular occurrence in his well-traveled eight-year career.

Nunez is often described as a “utility player” and that translation is he has no solid position to play and does not have the talent to be considered a regular.  Nunez has hit when he plays as demonstrated by a career .282 average, but what about his glove work?

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Examining the defensive metrics, Nunez is the type of player who will not help you defensively nor will he significantly hurt you. With the Red Sox, Nunez gobbled up 213.2 innings at second and finished with a less than remarkable -9.1 UZR/150. However, Nunez can apply himself to second, third and short and even has dabbled in the outfield. No Gold Gloves nor will he ever be considered.

Nunez also has one attribute that certainly has value – speed.  Nunez is a borderline burner on the base paths and a legit stolen base threat.  In 2017, Nunez pilfered 24 bases in 31 attempts.

The big question is his knee.  When last seen, Nunez was being carted off the field in the playoffs never to return. This was an ongoing issue as Nunez had injured the knee earlier and was willing to give it a go – a risky move for an impending free agent, but it certainly shows a willingness to contribute despite the potential consequences.  No J.D. Drew or Day-To-Day Drew as he was known.

The Red Sox need some support at second with Dustin Pedroia out until possibly June. Brock Holt remains on the roster but also has health and performance issues. Infield depth is critical and that means looking for the best available which is hovering right under managements beak.

I’m surprised – or based on how the offseason has slogged along maybe not surprised – regarding Nunez being re-upped. This is the proverbial no-brainer to just about any Red Sox fan.  The money seems right.  The years seem right.  And the player seems really right. A good fit and most certainly a need exists.

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The Red Sox brought back one holdover from the free agent pool and it is time to bring back another. Just sign Nunez.