The Red Sox acquired 2016 All-Star Eduardo Núñez from the Giants in exchange for two minor league pitching prospects. Núñez will be with the team on Friday for the start of a 10-game homestand at Fenway.
You might remember Núñez, 30, from his days with the New York Yankees, where he broke into the big leagues playing in 30 games for The Bombers in 2010.
The right-handed shortstop (245 career games), third baseman (226) and left fielder (36) was born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
Núñez stayed with New York for four seasons (slashing .267 AVG/.313 OBP/.379 SLG in 270 games) before being traded to the Twins for lefty pitcher Miguel Sulbaran, who never reached the majors. Núñez played in 235 games with Minnesota over three seasons (.280/.311/.422) then went to the Giants last July in a deal for another pitcher, Adalberto Mejia. With San Francisco, Núñez has appeared in 126 games (.293/.331/.417).
So far in 2017, Núñez is 93-for-302 (.308) with a .334 on-base percentage and .417 slugging percentage. He’s hitting lefties and righties about equally. His .348 AVG is the fourth highest in the majors since June 1 (minimum 100 plate appearances), which included a torrid 9-for-16 in his final four games with San Francisco (.563).
Núñez’ 2017 AVG ties him to the best Red Sox mark with Dustin Pedroia. His OBP and SLG are both about middle of the pack on his new club. Núñez has 18 stolen bases this season, fifth-most in National League. His 40 SB last season were fifth most in the majors.
Núñez the toughest player to strikeout in all of baseball this season, averaging a SO ever 10.4 at-bats (Mookie Betts is second on that list at 9.6).
At Fenway Park, Núñez owns a career .284 AVG/.333 OBP/.405 SLG slash line over 23 games. His .739 OPS in Boston is his fourth-best mark among any ballpark where he’s played (minimum 20 games).
Núñez’ offensive pop helps mask some of his defensive woes. ESPN Stats and Information spotlights the fact that of the five positions Núñez has played in his career, he has a negative defensive-runs-saved total at all of them.
Still, as Alex Speier notes today at the Boston Globe, the acquisition of Núñez isn’t a budget buster. It doesn’t mean the Sox won’t still go after a power hitter, a setup man, or both.
In return for Núñez the Red Sox sent righty pitchers Shaun Anderson, 22, and Gregory Santos, 17, to the Giants. Anderson is 6-3 with a 3.42 ERA in 18 starts between Single-A Greenville and High-A Salem this season. Santos has made seven starts for the Dominican Summer League Sox in 2017, going 2-0 with a 0.90 ERA.
Núñez will be a first-time free agent after this season.
Welcome Eduardo Núñez to Red Sox Nation. He’s on Twitter at @EduardoNunez15.
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