Cashman: “I don’t look at Nunez being valuable in an everyday role other than shortstop”

The five biggest hits of the 2012 season
What Went Wrong: Mariano Rivera

Via ESPN NY: During a recent radio interview, Brian Cashman basically said he doesn’t see a role for Eduardo Nunez given how the team is currently constructed. “I look at Nunez and his value as a shortstop,” said the GM. “I don’t look at Nunez being valuable in an everyday role other than shortstop, and we have a shortstop. In terms of everyday status for Nuney, I don’t see one as long as Derek Jeter is sitting there … All the calls of putting him in left field, I don’t understand.”

Nunez had a nice (but brief) showing in the ALCS in place of the injured Jeter, going 2-for-6 with a triple, a homer, and a stolen base. He hit .292/.330/.393 (93 wRC+) with eleven steals in exactly 100 regular season plate appearances, though he was demoted to Triple-A in May because of his defense. Nunez makes a ton of contact (career 10.4% strikeouts) and has some pop and speed, so the offense is adequate for a utility infielder. The defense isn’t though, and the Yankees don’t have a place to play him full-time. It would make some sense to hold onto him as long as Jeter is recovering from his ankle surgery, but at the same time it also makes sense to trade him if the team truly feels he can’t cut it as a multi-position guy. He might actually be one of their better trade chips at the moment.

email
The five biggest hits of the 2012 season
What Went Wrong: Mariano Rivera
  • blee

    i thought a lot of teams were high on his hitting ability..

    i think he can hit in this league.. and that his bat can carry in LF as well as 3B if need be.. of course we havent seen him over a long period to see if he’s exposed.. but he’s young enough to warrant a chance a la melky..

    btw.. anyone else see that ridiculous article on espn by bowden? how the yanks need to blow up the team?.. what a joke.. (Insider i think)

    • MannyGeee Machete

      Bowden still showing his chops as a GM … SMH

      You’ll have to excuse him, his job is to make people talk. Even if the talk is how much of an idiot he is.

  • http://n/a Matt

    If this team is really serious about getting under the luxury tax, then why not play Nunez in RF. Have him play it in instructional/Winter Ball. He has got the arm for it.

    • Mister D

      “… why not …”

      Because he can’t hit enough to carry a corner OF spot. Especially when you have Gardner in the other.

      • Tom

        Im sick of this “need power out of corner outfield spots” this certainly does not apply to the yankees, especially since they get rare power production from both second base and centerfield

        • Steve (different one)

          Sure, but you usually like power OR on base skills OR plus plus defense.

          Nunez is kindof 0 for 3

        • Laz

          Yep, I don’t think that he should be the first option out there, but he could be an inhouse backup.

          I think it could depend on how Jeter’s healing. They need to play the guy, he is not a utility man. Play him or trade him and get someone you will play.

          • Laz

            And this isn’t me lobbying for a trade, I just don’t see how it is helping the team when he is sitting in the minors/bench, especially since other teams see value in him.

  • jim p

    In the imprecise world of fielding stats, does Nunez’ range gain him ground on Jeter’s rating as a short-stop defender? Or is his throwing that bad? To my memory, it seems his errors are almost all throwing.

    I really like his bat, speed, and energy. Would like to see him in more games. If we traded him, unable to wait for Jeter to move (and that day will come), what value could we get for him?

    • Mattchu12

      That day will come when Jeter retires.

      • Robinson Tilapia (endorsing the SF Giants for WS Champs)

        By the time Jeter retires, the scope of options at short will be different from what it is now, both in the FA market and, possibly, internally.

        Keeping Eduardo Nunez around for that purpose, to me, is just silly. He has some pop. Throw him a parade. Give him a raise.

        (……..)

        • 0 for infinity and beyond

          Hooray! a parade!

      • cody

        Considering the severity of his ankle injury, Jeter might never play shortstop again. He’ll be 39 & has already lost range. What makes people think he’ll be the same after this injury??

  • Mattchu12

    I’d like to see him get a chance in left field or something, especially since I want Granderson traded in the offseason or during next season (nothing against the guy, just don’t want to pay him the big bucks when I see him diving off a cliff soon) and then have Gardner in center.

    Having said that, I think a lot of teams would be interested in a guy like Nunie. And I’d love to see Cashman steal Tim Lincecum from the Giants while his value is low.

  • http://www.twitter.com/_swarlesbarkley Drew

    With all the injuries to top prospects, trading Nunez might be the smartest thing to do at the moment. Jeter isn’t going anywhere for at least the next 2 years (probably more if he keeps hitting the way he is). Nunez could go in a package to get a certain outfield cough cough Justin Upton cough cough.

    • MannyGeee Machete

      I think the Chris Young deal not only killed the A-Rod speculation to Miami (Heath Bell) but has killed any chance of Arizona moving Justin Upton.

      • Laz

        Arizona still has plenty of outfielders, but it depends on their ambitions next year. Upton would be best staying if they think they can win it, but if not better to trade him. I just hope the yankees don’t go in on him. I think the package will be way too high.

  • Eddard

    I don’t know what it takes for this team to alter its philosophy. Big left handed hairy monsters didn’t get it done. Only Raul bothered to show up. Nunie was our best hitter in that Detroit series. He makes things happen with the bat. It was his clutch hit that scored Melky Mesa to win that Oakland game. A lot of other hitters just would have struck out and not even put the bat on the ball. He’s young, he’s got speed and he’s a contact hitter and that’s why he’ll probably be traded by the end of the week.

    • MannyGeee Machete

      As a big left handed hairy monster, I continue to find this reference extremely offensive.

      • Robinson Tilapia (endorsing the SF Giants for WS Champs)

        How DO you deal with all that hair? Jesus.

        • MannyGeee (Eddard’s Big left handed hairy monster)

          mostly via Flowbee…

          • Robinson Tilapia (endorsing the SF Giants for WS Champs)

            Hedge clippers, you say?

    • Raul Ibanez AKA Tom Marvolo Riddle AKA True Yankee(TM)

      Does anybody else see the irony in “Big left handed hairy monsters didn’t get it done. Only Raul bothered showing up.” When Raul is basically the closest thing to a “big hairy left handed monster” we have?

      • 0 for infinity and beyond

        The guy has no hair on his head at all, how can he be hairy?

        • vicki

          maybe he meant hoary?

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      Nunez didn’t get a hit to win that Oakland game.

      • Robinson Tilapia (endorsing the SF Giants for WS Champs)

        Just roll with it.

      • MannyGeee (Eddard’s Big left handed hairy monster)

        Germans bombing Pearl Harbor, man….

  • Robinson Tilapia (endorsing the SF Giants for WS Champs)

    I’m shocked who I haven’t seen comment yet on here.

    I will say that, if I were Cash here, I’d be calling Nunez the best shortstop ever. I’d love for him to be that “MLB-ready” piece that goes in actual trade.

    Overall, as far as truthiness and truthitude go, I absolutely agree with Cashman’s assessment.

    • Robinson Tilapia (endorsing the SF Giants for WS Champs)

      I spoke about 30 seconds too soon.

      • MannyGeee (Eddard’s Big left handed hairy monster)

        You cant predict EddardBall

        • jjyank

          Ha! I laughed out loud at your handle alteration.

          • MannyGeee (Eddard’s Big left handed hairy monster)

            Glad I could oblige.

  • Rich in NJ

    Nunez could probably be a decent to good everyday SS if he could play everyday and a team lives with errors as he gains confidence. That’s unlikely in NY.

    btw, I criticize Cashman a lot (I think justifiably), but I really like that he doesn’t call him Nuney.

  • MannyGeee (Eddard’s Big left handed hairy monster)

    Eduardo Nunez broke the InterWebz?

  • mitch

    Moving him to the OF doesn’t make a lot of sense. His value is tied to the fact that he can provide solid offense production at a middle infield position. He’d probably be a below-average hitting outfielder.

    Give him full time reps at SS in AAA or trade him.

    • Laz

      He has played for 8 years in the minors, he isn’t going to vastly change his defensive game in 1 season.

  • Raul Ibanez AKA Tom Marvolo Riddle AKA True Yankee(TM)

    My favorite part about this article and the comment section so far is Cash is quoted as saying Nunie is basically a shortstop long term and almost all the comments so far are saying “why not move him to (insert every position that isn’t shortstop here).”

    • Robinson Tilapia (endorsing the SF Giants for WS Champs)

      I’m all for moving him out west. Does that count?

      • Raul Ibanez AKA Tom Marvolo Riddle AKA True Yankee(TM)

        Depending on who goes with him and who replaces him on the roster, I’m all for it. Btw, what is this ‘WS’ you have in your handle? The only thing I can think of is it stands for World Series, but to my knowledge there is no World Series this year?

        • Robinson Tilapia (endorsing the SF Giants for WS Champs)

          There’s a definite soft spot in my heart for the Giants. I know a LOT of Bay Area people, love the stadium, think there’s such a nice, but relaxed, fanbase there, and I love Philz Coffee.

          • Raul Ibanez AKA Tom Marvolo Riddle AKA True Yankee(TM)

            Haha, I’m kidding. I’m halfheartedly rooting for the Giants (w/o actually watching the games) because I’m angry at the Tigers and have no problem with anybody on the Giants.

            • MannyGeee (Eddard’s Big left handed hairy monster)

              I am cheering for the ghost of Melky Cabrera. So yeah, go Giants!

              • Cris Pengiucci

                Former NY team usually gets the nod in my book.

    • Slugger27

      what i dont get is why he doesnt understand why ppl want them to try nunez in LF… if i recall, they DID try nunez in left field, so it has to make SOME sense to cashman to try it, since you know… they did.

      • Raul Ibanez AKA Tom Marvolo Riddle AKA True Yankee(TM)

        I also recall them trying him in Left. I also recall it going just about as well as the Red Sox playing Kevin Youkilis in Left in 2010 for a handful of games. Granted neither player had much (if any) experience out there, but in both cases their inability to judge balls off the bat and take proper routes just shows that the argument “he’s a major leaguer just throw him out there he’ll be passable” is flawed at best. I would truthfully go through another season of Ibanez/Jones in LF than Nunez.

  • greg

    nunez and phelps are our big trade peices this offseason and i think they could bring somthing back in return nunezs defense not counting dude has the bat to really play in this league. its funny but if he could throw he would be one of the better ss

  • Joe S

    Trade A-Rod for bag of balls, Move Jeter to Third Base, (increase his career) Nunez to SS

    • 0 for infinity and beyond

      I was waiting for the “move Jeter” comment. The only move Jeter will make will be from SS to Cooperstown, BOOM.

    • 0 for infinity and beyond

      No team will give a bag of balls for A-Rod

      • Joe S

        I’ll settle for a case of Big League chew, but it stops there.

    • 0 for infinity and beyond

      And why would the Yankees take a bag of balls? SO they can NOT hit them? :)

  • Buhner’s barber

    Any chance the cards would trade away Beltran, being that they have taveras coming up? I don’t think they have a long term answer at short (or 2nd).

    • MannyGeee (Eddard’s Big left handed hairy monster)

      I wouldn’t trade Nunez for one season of Beltran. And also, the Yankees have had MULTIPLE opportunities to sign Beltran for just money, yet they have not.

      His best bet is to become a wily veteran and provide some presents as a bench bat/DH. that and $1.5M they might sign him.

  • Andy in Sunny Daytona

    Cashman went on to say, “I mean we gave him TWO WHOLE WEEKS to play Left Field and it didn’t work out. An entire fortnight and he couldn’t master the position…..what a joke.”

    • Steve (different one)

      Yeah, except that’s not what he’s saying. He’s saying his bat isn’t a corner IF bat, it’s a middle IF bat. Which is true.

      He never says he can’t field the position.

      • Steve (different one)

        “corner OF”

  • mike exista

    when jeter’s current contract ends, so does elvis andrus. lets go!

  • a realist

    what makes us all think that 40 year old Derek can even play SS anymore?

    Left ankle? Isn’t that the ankle he pushes off on fro his ridiculous jump-throw thing?

    • Raul Ibanez AKA Tom Marvolo Riddle AKA True Yankee(TM)

      Well he’s been faking it since about age 35 anyway, and honestly I can’t remember the last time he really made one of those “ridiculous jump-throw things” from 5 steps on the outfield grass to first like he did from 1995 through about 2007…

    • DC

      What makes you think his ankle won’t be healed? It was a fracture.

      • a realist

        age, mostly. also I am wondering if there’s any other damage that we don’t know about (i.e. tendon and ligament)

        Alex broke his wrist and can’t swing a bat through the zone anymore. Derek already has zero range, so this injury should play a significant role going forward in the field and at the plate. I hope I’m wrong, obviously, but it’s silly to think that he’s going to be just fine going forward. It’s also silly to think that he will be the opening day SS. Barring a trade, I see Nunez getting the bulk of playing time though May.

        • Raul Ibanez AKA Tom Marvolo Riddle AKA True Yankee(TM)

          “Alex broke his wrist and can’t swing a bat through the zone anymore.” I think that’s a little premature. Hand injuries tend to linger. Give him a full offseason of rest to let the break heal properly and I’m sure his timing and bat speed will be worlds better come April.

          As for Derek, I think again you’re taking an overly pessimistic thought process. I mean, his range was already limited yes, but it’s kind of hard for it to get worse and have the team stick with him at short.

    • 0 for infinity and beyond

      Because he’s Derek F’n Jeter and he will be the shortstop for the Yankees until he decides he is done.

  • JScott

    Melky Mesa career minor league OPS= .751
    Nunez’ career minor league OPS= .659

    Both players just completed their age 25 seasons. By all reports Mesa can actually play the outfield (all three spots) at a high level. If you’re gonna project Nunez into the OF, why not just with Mesa?

    • 0 for infinity and beyond

      Because everyone already had their heart broken by one Melky and they are taking it out on the current Melky.

      And he just missed third again.

  • http://www.twitter.com/matt__harris Matt :: Sec110

    He plays 3B or 2B when your trade ARod or Cano.

  • Thunder Road Runner

    He is NOT the answer

    • MannyGeee (Eddard’s Big left handed hairy monster)

      He might be the answer…. wait, what was the question?

      • Robinson Tilapia (endorsing the SF Giants for WS Champs)

        The question was “Eduardo Nunez for Team Captain: Next year or LAST WEEK?”

    • 0 for infinity and beyond

      Depends on what the question is…

  • RetroRob

    Cashman’s assessment of Nunez is of course correct. He doesn’t have the skillset to be a good utility player, and he doesn’t have the power and/or OBP skills to be an OFer.

    • Raul Ibanez AKA Tom Marvolo Riddle AKA True Yankee(TM)

      Brian Cashman? Right? About anything?!!?! Blasphemy!!! How can a GM who has won 4 WS and made the playoffs every year but one in 14 years ever be right about anything!!!!

      -Half the commenters on this site and 90% of those at Lohud.

      • Robinson Tilapia (endorsing the SF Giants for WS Champs)

        Was this in the multi-part LoHud comment thread that began sometime two seasons ago, but never ends?

        • Raul Ibanez AKA Tom Marvolo Riddle AKA True Yankee(TM)

          R-Tils, I have no idea what you’re talking about. I just like to take shots at LoHud commenters because they didn’t make me feel welcome and all acted like a bunch of spoiled 12yr olds when I posted there for about a week two seasons ago.

          • Robinson Tilapia (endorsing the SF Giants for WS Champs)

            LoHud just continues the same conversation in their comment threads, no matter what the subject is. It’s also always much dumber than even the dumbest things said on here are.

            I started on LoHud. I enjoyed the whole SJ44 “I’m an insider and speak in code” stuff, but the decline was steep and this place entered the glory years, part one.

  • Robert

    This is what the Yanks do with young players, put them here try them there and you end up with a confused youngster Examples Joba,Hughes,now there doing it to Phelps.Now they did it to Nunez and they take it to a new level by doing it in the Minors. Look at all the multi position players Adams Joeseph Russo Mustiliar etc.

    • Cris Pengiucci

      So, which would you prefer:

      A) Taking a player that has limited to no value at the MLB level due to skill set or a player blocking them and trying to make them more versatile while they are in the minors, thereby providing more vaule to the team either through that versatility or via trade

      or

      b) Let them stay at one position in AAA and provide less vaule to anyone?

      BTW, punctuation is your friend.

  • Jake

    While I agree with what Cashman said, I’m not sure I understand why he felt the need to say it. It seems like Cashman jumped aboard the real-talk express a couple seasons ago (eg. expressing his displeasure with the Soriano signing) and it sometime seems counterproductive.

    • gc

      Well it’s not like he sought out the airtime to proclaim to the world that he doesn’t look at Nunez as being valuable in an everyday role other than shortstop. He was asked a question about how he sees Nunez’ role and he answered it. Was there anything really controversial or disrespectful in what he said? This is Eduardo Nunez we’re talking about here. Nothing he said should really come as much of a surprise.

      • Raul Ibanez AKA Tom Marvolo Riddle AKA True Yankee(TM)

        I see where Jake’s coming from though. Hypothetically if there was a team with a hole at either 3rd or 2nd and really liked Nunez offensive profile as a guy who could be their 2nd or 3rd baseman going forward and would be willing to trade something valuable for him might not be as interested anymore.

        Even having said that though, anybody with eyes or a scouting department that has a single scout with eyes watching Nunie throw knows they’d have a hell of a defensive reclamation project even keeping him at short long term.

        • Steve (different one)

          The idea that a comment on a radio show would change a major league team’s Internal assessment of a player is the stuff for internet message boards only. Everyone knows who Nunez is. This changes absolutely nothing.

  • BTG

    I don’t know why they don’t consider moving to 2nd. Trade Cano at his peak (before overpaying him on a huge multi-year contract), get some excellent pieces back and move Nunez to 2nd. I know Cano’s a top 5 WAR talent, but be better off overall with this kind of move.

    • Steve (different one)

      I have no idea why they wouldn’t want to trade the best 2B in baseball and hand the job to a guy with a weak bat and throwing yips. Seems so obvious.

      • Robinson Tilapia (endorsing the SF Giants for WS Champs)

        but da YOUTH. nothin can hold back da YOUTH.

    • 0 for infinity and beyond

      I guess it depends on what the Yankees would get back. Might want to sign a vetern just in case it doesn’t pan out.

      • tyrone sharpton

        it makes a lot of sense. get 3 top prospects from a team like pittsburgh, arizona, seattle, or st. louis? all while having a potential backup plan in nunez?

        • Steve (different one)

          There is an argument for trading him, but there is an equally good one to keep him and try to win.

          Also, you won’t get 3 “top” prospects for one year of Cano.

  • Pete

    Yanks like Nunez’s bat, but he is a butcher in the field. He could see some time at DH next year.

  • jayfoot

    nnunz doesn’t get traded because he is the opening day shortstop.Jeter won’t be ready.

  • TomH

    Did the host of the show have him on KGB truth serum? Or is he having one of those run-off-at-the-mouth episodes again? Why would he be so frank on a mere radio show?

  • rogue

    Cashman is a moron.

    Nunez is the type of player this team needs. Too many naysayers judge his defense on anecdotal errors while ignoring his good range. Jeter makes fewer errors but allows more hits. Errors stick out like a sore thumb so “trade Nunez”! Anyone who views Jeter as a long term SS is just as dumb as Cashman.

    I’m not surprised that Cashman would make these statements. He’s so stupid, I’ll make the following predictions…

    1.) He’ll give Cano 7-8 years and tell everyone how the team got a good deal considering Boras was asking for 10 years. Meet the next albatross.

    2.) In addition to Nunez, Cashman will trade David Adams (another Bill Mueller, maybe better) and Corban Joseph (who hit very well in AAA and is ready for MLB.) Both players are young and can get on base. Cashman had previously tried to deal Adams, along with Montero for what could have been 1/2 year of Cliff Lee.

    Ultimately, the blame goes to Hal who allows this crap to happen.