Plan B: Eduardo Nunez

Keep one, trade one: Granderson or Swisher?
Pitching options starting to come off the board

Via Buster Olney, the Yankees have identified their Plan B at shortstop in the unlikely event that Derek Jeter signs elsewhere or retires: Eduardo Nunez. They would rather give the 23-year-old the opportunity to win the job in Spring Training than pursue a veteran free agent (Olney mentions out-machine Orlando Cabrera, yuck). The Yanks sure do seem to have a lot of faith in Nunez, who’s drawn 50 unintentional walks with a .102 ISO in 1,034 plate appearances at Double- and Triple-A over the last two seasons. Let’s not forget that he was seemingly unable to throw a ball to first base without making it an adventure in his late season cameo this year.

If they want to go in-house, fine. Just start Ramiro Pena then, at least he’ll be brilliant defensively.

Keep one, trade one: Granderson or Swisher?
Pitching options starting to come off the board
  • JFH

    The Eduardo Nunez fan club: Mike Axisa, President.

    • jsbrendog (returns)


  • Chris

    Sources: Yanks expect Jeter to be back, but they have identified their Plan B if he isn’t — Eduardo Nunez. The 23-year-old SS (more)

    would be given the opportunity to win the SS job in spring, rather than the Yankees immediately pursuing a veteran like Orlando Cabrera.

    Why couldn’t he fit all of that information in 140 characters or less? It’s almost like he enjoys bending the twitter rules.

    • bob

      “Source: Yanks expect Jeter Back. Plan B: 23 yr-old Nunez will get shot to win SS job in ST instead of pursuing vet FA” that has to be less than 140

    • Plank

      Assuming this is truly from “sources”, do you think Cashman intentionally released this or did it leak without his permission?

      • bob

        i’d say it doesnt really matter. Its not like earth-shattering news. Its more common sense than anything.

        • Plank

          Well, none of this really matters, but it is a much different story depending on if it was intentional from Cash to Olney, a leak in the organization from an intern who saw a memo they shouldn’t have, or a WAG from Olney.

  • Matty Ice

    Bubba Crosby?

    • NextYankeeDynasty

      Exactly what I was thinking!…

  • What Won’t Jesus Montero Do

    But Nunez cant replace Jeters offensive production

    /09′ offseason’d

    • JGS

      /’10 offseason too’d

  • SRB

    If Eduardo Nunez is the option (I saw him play in the minors this year as well), I’d vote for seeing what Roy Smalley is doing!

  • A.D.

    Straight out of the Bubba Crosby is our CF & Nick Swisher is our 1B playbook.

  • Beamish

    If they want to go in-house, fine. Just start Ramiro Pena then, at least he’ll be brilliant defensively.

    That. Always that before they start someone with no bat AND no glove.

    • Accent Shallow

      I’m not particularly impressed with Pena’s glove, either.

  • Adam

    Umm yeah, don’t I remember Mike Lamb being the supposed replacement for Aaron Boone after he got injured?

    • FIPster Doofus

      Or Nick Swisher being the first baseman pre-Teixeira signing.

      • Adam

        Which is what makes the whole situation so silly on both ends…Jeter needs the Yankees to get a good contract, and the Yanks kind of need Jeter because there aren’t any decent shortstops available, short of a surprise trade.

  • Juke Early

    This has all gone from creepy to stupid creepy. This is whose d**k is bigger disguised as negotiating. I guess if these momos could cancel a WS, they can keep doing this. Dear Baby Jesus – here near Xmas time – please let somebody insult me w/a 3yrs. for 45mil deal. Pretty please, I have Frank incense & myrrh. Plus a Jeter Rookie Card. . ..

    • T-Dubs

      I love this post. I also love that you have Frank incense.

      • FIPster Doofus

        I burn Frank incense while enjoying my Richard Simmons DVD collection. It’s a great combo.

      • vin

        I actually just spoke to him… Frank is totally incensed with this new Nunez revelation.

      • Andy In Sunny Daytona

        Frank incense is incense that get right to the point. No girly smells or anything like that, it just masks the smell of weed. Period.

        • Yank the Frank

          I am incensed and possibly insane that this Jeter thing is becoming what it is becoming which is very unbecoming.

        • ROBTEN

          Frank incense is incense that get right to the point. No girly smells or anything like that, it just masks the smell of weed. Period.

          Exactly. (SFW)

        • jsbrendog (returns)


  • pete

    Eh, I can see liking Nunez over Pena. We can’t be sure that Nunez’s offensive improvements over the last year or so won’t translate at all, and we can’t be sure that he won’t or hasn’t turned any kind of corner defensively.

    With Pena, we can be pretty much certain that we’re going to get a wOBA under .300 – probably by a lot. I’d be surprised if his OPS+ is higher than 60 in a full season. If he’s putting up UZRs of +10 or better, then that’s one thing, but I think it’s a bit much to expect him to do that. With Nunez, there’s no guarantee of anything, but I could see him being something near average at short while maintaining a wOBA closer to .320 than .300. That sucks, but I still think he’s a better option than Pena.

    But then again, Nunez didn’t sleep with my wife, so what do I know? ;)

  • CS Yankee

    Nunez would be more like a plan C, as mentioned this has Bubba Crosby written all over it.

    Jeter needs to wake up and realize that just because they blew it with the Arod resigning, they won’t make the same mistake twice. Arod had/has a much higher WAR, was/has much more power and it was during Hank’s “Boss Jr” crazism.

    Jeter was (prior to this off season)regarded as a team guy and I’m all for him cashing in again way above market…which should net him like 3/60M$ with a fourth mutual kicker for 15M$ with a $3 buyout. This would likely be 50% higher than ANY other team would offer. He deserves it in a way, and I hope they don’t “Damon” him by offering him less each week. Keep it open until pitcher & catchers report and then move on to which ever scab is available (as there is not much out there this year).

  • ZZ

    If they want to go in-house, fine. Just start Ramiro Pena then, at least he’ll be brilliant defensively.

    You can’t seriously be down on Nunez enough to want to start Ramiro Pena over him. If you want people to take you seriously on your evaluation of Nunez instead of getting all these You Hate Nunez! comments hyperbole like this only hurts you.

    The average SS last season had a .693 OPS. The position isn’t exactly filled with guys who can mash.

    • CS Yankee

      If you see Cashman lobby at the owner’s meetings in December for a rule change to have the option for DH’s to bat for any one position (instead of just P’s), then you know that his plan could be…
      Pena play SS
      Posada DH for SS position
      CC, AJ, Mo, etc. bat for themselves

      Otherwise, Jeet will smell the coffee and resign for the goodness of the Yankee fans, MLB & his sponsors sometime after the New Year when everything is discounted.

    • A.D.

      Figure Pena is always there, give Nunez a chance, if he sucks, you can always start Pena instead

  • YanksFan

    Why all the Nunez hate? Not saying he’s great & would be a great SS to have. Just saying that there are worse options. There’s not enough perspective when it comes to Nunez. Don’t compare him to a HOF like Jeter, compare him to the dregs that are MLB SS’s.

    I also believe this is just more of the media bs of what could I write about today that is new & original considering what’s been written all season & even more so the last 2 weeks.

  • Section-203

    The plan B should involve a trade IMO. How about a trade for Alexei Ramirez? Swisher/Granderson could be including plus a pitching prospect. I know I’m a little short on the trade, but I’m sure it could get done reasonable. This puts a younger, arb-eligible SS in the lineup with avg/power, and allows the Yanks to spend the Jeter $$$ on Werth/Crawford. Clearly a Plan B, but honestly, I see this a better option than Nunez.

    This is obviously a big load on nonsense since Jeter will resign, but interesting to think about the what ifs.

  • Fair Weather Freddy

    Mike’s Worst Nightmare: Eduardo Nunez, Yanks starting SS

  • vinny-b

    will be happy with Nunez. Thanks

  • Hughesus Christo

    I get the impression that the Yankees could start the entire Columbus Clippers roster and *some of you* would convince yourselves that we have 6-7 diamonds in the rough out there.

    • YanksFan

      The nut jobs maybe. I think there are others who are reading into the Nunez does not suck compared to the rest of MLB SS’s crowd as saying that he will be a stud.

    • Kiersten

      The Columbus Clippers? Did we just time warp?

  • steve (different one)

    Which pair would have greater offensive production:

    2011 Nunez and Montero vs.
    2010 Jeter and Cervelli?

    Just curious. Jeter WILL be back, but is it just me, or has is it gotten a little easier to imagine life after Jeter over the past 2 weeks? I’ll be happy when he re-signs, but the Yankees offense survived with TWO below average hitters (league average, not position adj) last year. They could get by with one next year if they had to.

    Also, what about in 2012 when Jorge is gone? Couldn’t you use Jeter’s money to sign a big DH bat and make up the Nunez-Jeter gap that way? To be honest, the Yankees only really NEED Jeter for one more year.

    • Hughesus Christo

      What does Derek Jeter have to do with Cervelli?

      I’d also like to see an end to imaginary acquisitions. There is no “Big DH bat” just like there are no “Young free agent shortstops” on the horizon.

      • steve (different one)

        The question was if replacing Jeter/Cervelli with Nunez/Montero gets you the same production. Was that really so hard to follow? Nunez would be worse than Jeter but Montero would be better than Cervelli. Just a hypothetical question for those who see Nunez as the end of the world.

        Also, why wouldn’t there be any big DHs available? There are several available right now, for much less than Jeter $$. Don’t get that objection, it doesn’t strike me as particularly controversial.

        • Hughesus Christo

          Who? Guerrero, Thome, Matsui and the like were so available because nobody wanted them. The same risk for flatlining is out there now as existed 12 months ago. DHes are all washed up guys who have proven to be major injury risks. It’s not 1999.

          If RAB had hashtags, “It’s Not 1999” would be my favorite.

          Can’t we get a better hitter at SS than this? Wait a year and sign a free agent. #itsnot1999.

          Can’t we sign a big time DH with Jeter’s money? #itsnot1999

          We should be looking to trade for an ace instead of giving Lee all that money #itsnot1999

          • Hughesus Christo

            And as I think you attempted to glaze over, the Yankees had zero league average spots in the lineup this season.

            • steve (different one)

              I didn’t attempt to glaze over anything. The two players I am talking about replacing play the same two positions as the new people, so it’s irrelevant how they fared in relation to their positions. The only thing that matters in this exercise is how much offense they generate. Period.

              So if Jeter and Cervelli had OPS+ of 90 and 88, could the Yankees get an 80 and 110 out of the same two spots next year with Nunez and Montero?

              Seems like a legitimate question, no idea what your problem is.

              • Hughesus Christo

                Jorge Posada took a significant number of ABs at catcher. Jesus Montero has 0 MLB ABs. Derek Jeter was still well above the mean at his position. Eduardo Nunez sucks.

                The above information makes the comparison strange, IMO.

          • Steve H

            What do you consider a big DH bat?

            • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

              Prince and/or Cecil Fielder. John Kruk might work as well.

              • jsbrendog (returns)

                raul mondesi

                • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

                  We’re talking about fat DHs, not morbidly obese quasi-centerfielders.

  • EndlessMike

    Get rid of Jeter put Nunez in short and Crawford in left is better then brining back Jeter for 4 years.

    • Monteroisdinero

      This. I have been saying this for awhile now. It is a bit outside the box but Swish DH’s every day. He is a better switch hitter and 10 years younger than Posada who we keep but not as the everyday DH.

      Jeter not $18M better than Nunez for next 3 years. Jeets should bat 9th anyway with Montero in the lineup.

      $18M for a #9 hitter?

      • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

        $18M for a #9 hitter?

        13M for a DH/PH bench bat?

        • Monteroisdinero

          we are stuck with Posada’s contract-not Jeter’s


        • Monteroisdinero

          and Posada will catch 30-40 games.

      • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

        Jeter not $18M better than Nunez for next 3 years.

        This is a red herring. Jeter’s not getting paid 18M a year to simply be better than Nuñez, a large portion of that 18M is being paid to Jeter to continue being Derek Jeter, Most Popular And Marketable Athlete In Modern Baseball History. You can’t judge it on the gross volume of the contract, because the team has all but admitted that it’s willing to pay Jeter more than standard market value because his singular branding presence skews the math.

      • nathan

        but the icon… the icon deserves it

        dont u know the icon deserves more

  • YanksFan77

    With or without Jeter, the Yankees still have the best offensive lineup in baseball. How much better offensively is Jeter going to be than Nunez/Pena that it’s gonna be worth 15+ million/season?

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

      How much better offensively is Jeter going to be than Nunez/Pena that it’s gonna be worth 15+ million/season?

      Jeter’s not worth 15M more than any other shortstop, at this point. He’s easily worth 8-10M more than Peña or Nuñez, though.

      So, if it makes you feel better, the Yankees are going to be paying Derek Jeter the baseball player 8-10M a year to be better than Peña and Nuñez the baseball players, and in a separate but concurrent contractual agreement, the Yankees are going to be paying Derek Jeter the global brand icon 5-7M per year to continue to align his brand within the family of the Yankees’ multi-sport conglomerate.

      • nathan

        Except that is an insulting offer, one that baffles Mr Close.

        Honestly, i was surprised to see the Yanks start 15 M. They clearly did not want to insult him. If they wanted fair value then they could have started 3/21M total.

        At the end of this the MSM will make it look like Yanks did something despicable. I do wonder how they would react if this were the BoSox though. You could see Neyer and James lecturing the world the Sox are a smart organization running a business.

      • YanksFan77

        I understand the 5-7 million, I just don’t understand how Jeter is $8-10 million better than Nunez/Pena (replacement player) on the field.

        If 1 WAR = $2.5 mil, Jeter had a 2.5 WAR last year, that’s only $6 and a quarter million, and that’s if Nunez can’t do anything with the bat.

        • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

          That 2.5 WAR was the lowest of Jeter’s career. Even a mild, small, non-aggressive bounceback prediction would put him at 3 WAR, and there’s $7.5M of that $8-10M.

          And 600 plate appearances of Eduardo Nuñez or Ramiro Peña (or both) could easily equal to -1.0 WAR and -$2.5M of value. Easily.

          Could a full season of Nuñez and/or Peña look just like Yuniesky Betancourt’s 2009 Royals season? You bet your ass it could.

          Shit, $10M may be underselling it. 2011 Jeter could easily be 12M better than Nuñez/Peña. That’s how bad their bats are, and how good a diminished Jeter bat still is.

          • YanksFan77

            Or Jeter could continue to decline as a 37 year old SS would, and Nunez could actually progess as a hitter as he’s done the last two years.

            Is the probability of Jeter maintaining his conditioning for the next 4 years that exceptional, that you are willing to bet $70 million dollars on it?

            This is all besides my main point, that the Yanks still have the best lineup in baseball with or without Jeter. Is $70 million worth it to GAMBLE to make it that much better?

  • Reggie C.

    Cashman isn’t going to name drop any DJ alternatives as this process is very volatile. Cashman has got to play it close to his vest. It’d be stupid not too, so Olney’s sources are just really stating the obvious. Aside from Pena, Nunez is the only other internal candidate who could open next season on the squad.

  • TopChuckie

    The Yanks should have put in a huge bid, i.e. big enough to insure it was the best, for Nishioka. That would have put the pressure on Jeter and if he signed, they pass on Nishioka and get their posting bid back. If Jeter doesn’t sign, you bring in Nishioka who probably is as good or better than any other Plan B’s at the moment, offensively and defensively, could even be better than future Jeter. Win-win.

    R. Theriot makes more sense than Nunez I think, assuming he’d come real cheap now.

    Move Gardner to SS, defense can’t be much worse than Jeter’s and his bat fits SS perfectly, then sign Crawford.

    This whole post was mostly a joke, although it makes about as much sense as the way the Jeter negotiation has gone, and the Nishioka plan would have been a nice strategy/insurance policy.

    • jsbrendog (returns)

      you don’t get the posting bid back no atter what

      • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

        Yes, you do get the posting bid back if you don’t agree to a contract with the player.

  • emac2


    Go for the proven out as opposed to the prospect voted best defensive SS in AAA?

    Is that because he isn’t proven at the major league level while Pena has “proven” his level of ability?

  • emac2

    I was wondering what these people who want to pay Jeter for his “icon” status think the return for this portion of his “value” will be.

    Wouldn’t we be better off taking all of the old retired stars and paying them 50,000 a year to schmooze season ticket holders and the media?

    Jeter isn’t going to change attendance one way or the other but the crummy team you build by overpaying players who should be giving retirement a hard look will drop that attendance significantly.

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

      Jersey sales, homie. Jeter’s been #1 for like a decade straight.

      Attendance isn’t the only revenue stream for the team to profit off of The Blazing Copper Horse.

      • Plank

        Jersey sales get pooled out to all teams equally. the only jersey sales that the team keeps are those from inside the stadium, that’s a drop in the bucket.

      • emac2

        I wouldn’t argue he has no value above his on field play but nothing that would earn the yanks enough millions to even justify his current offer.

        Fans who want jerseys will also just buy some elses.

        In either case the team loses more money building a bad team even if the jersey sales go way up. The Yankees resurgence was related to winning far more then Jeter and Jeter no longer is a big factor in making that happen.

        • YanksFan77

          Yes, I will definitely get a Jesus jersey.

      • Oliver Queen

        People will still buy jerseys even if Jeter’s isn’t one of them.

  • Chris0313

    This website has the most irrational hatred for Nunez…ever.

  • Preston

    Now that the Jeter negotiations are looking up Mike can rest easier, Nunez will have probably been traded away before the SS position is vacant again. Although I still don’t understand his aversion to him. He seems like a legitimate ML SS prospect to me. And I don’t think Ramiro Pena is evenly remotely an option.