Apr
03

Report: Astros, Mariners among teams interested in Eduardo Nunez

By
(Stacy Revere/Getty)

(Stacy Revere/Getty)

The Yankees designated Eduardo Nunez for assignment on Tuesday, giving them ten days to trade him, release him, or slip him through waivers. That is down to eight days now, and considering the waiver process takes three days, it’s really more like five days. This situation could be resolved before the start of next week.

According to Marly Rivera, the Astros and Mariners* are among the teams with interest in Nunez. The middle infield bar is pretty low around the league right now, especially at shortstop, so I figured there would be some interest. That the Yankees couldn’t work out a trade before designating him suggests interest isn’t that high though. For what it’s worth, George King hears Nunez is expected to wind up elsewhere, either through a trade or waivers.

* As you surely remember, the Mariners wanted Nunez as part of the failed Cliff Lee trade a few years ago, so their interest now is not surprising.

Since he’s been designated for assignment, Nunez has pretty much zero trade value. He had very little trade value before being removed from the 40-man roster, but this clinches it. The Yankees forced their own hand with the move and other teams know they have to move him. That’s the way the DFA game has been and always will be. If they were to ship him to the Astros or Mariners, the likely return would be a nondescript non-40-man minor leaguer, cash, or a player to be named later. Don’t get your hopes up.

Nunez, 26, has hit .267/.313/.379 (86 wRC+) in parts of four seasons, in a league where the average shortstop put up a … wait for it … 86 wRC+ from 2010-13. His offense isn’t the problem, especially since he can steal bases on top of the league average-ish production. The issue has been and always be his defense, which hasn’t improved after years and years of work. This has been a career long problem and his career started in 2005.

The Yankees are short on shortstops right now, especially with Brendan Ryan hurt. Derek Jeter appears to be healthy and is moving fine in the field, but at age 39, he’s not someone who can play the position day after day. Joe Girardi‘s going to mix in some DH days every once in a while. He has to. Dean Anna is the backup shortstop, Yangervis Solarte the emergency backup, and the Triple-A starter is Carmen Angelini according to Chad Jennings. (Addison Maruszak was released yesterday according to Donnie Collins.) The 25-year-old Angelini had a 73 wRC+ at Double-A Trenton last year, so yeah.

Even though his defense is nightmarish, it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world if Nunez slipped through waivers and went to Triple-A (he can’t elect free agency since it would be his first outright assignment), at least until Ryan returns. The Astros and Mariners and whoever else probably won’t give up anything of value for him in a trade, so keeping Nunez around as an emergency backup plan is better than losing him for nothing. Especially with no shortstop at Triple-A. If he doesn’t stick around, they’ll have to find someone just like him to stash in the minors.

Categories : Hot Stove League

60 Comments»

  1. 28 this year says:

    Whats the waiver priority rules during the season? Is it reverse order by league from last year’s standings?

    • Mike Axisa says:

      In the offseason and April, it’s the reverse order of last season’s standings. From May through September (maybe October), it’s the reverse order of this year’s standings by league. An AL player goes through the AL on waivers first, then the NL, for example.

      • 28 this year says:

        Thanks, that makes sense.

        And the order is based on the day someone is put through waivers right? So if waivers last two days or 3, then, the priority is based on day 1′s standings? Just because if teams are close, they could flip flop.

  2. Pinedamaybegreata (formerly Monterowasdinero) says:

    Here goes….The Mariners have an overweight first baseman at Tacoma. Righty power bat and good security as a backup for Tex (who is that guy now anyway?). Nunez and a pitcher for Jesus? Smoak the young switchhitting, slick fielder is not going to be replaced by Montero.

  3. TWTR says:

    Nunez for Montero.

  4. I thought it was David Adams that held up the Cliff Lee trade years ago?

    • RetroRob says:

      If I remember correctly, Adams was part of the deal, but then the Mariners looked at his medicals and did not like what they saw with his ankle. The Mariners then requested Nunez as a replacement.

      The main piece was Montero, although I’m thinking Nova was also part of it, or maybe that was another deal that didn’t happen?

    • pat says:

      Seattle agreed to a deal with Adams, then balked cuting his ankle injury n(which is a legitimate concern) but Cash wouldn’t re-negotiate out of principle. Same reason we didn’t sign Michael Ynoa. We had a deal with him, then he reneged and wanted much more $$ and we wouldn’t budge.

  5. Bill Bergesch says:

    Montero doesn’t have a ton of value right now, but trading him for a SS for their Triple-A team when Seattle has a clear-cut starter at SS (B Miller) makes no sense. The Mariners aren’t the brightest team out there, but I highly doubt they’re giving Montero away for 5 cents on the dollar.

  6. RetroRob says:

    Accept nothing less than Cliff Lee for him!

  7. Kosmo says:

    Seattle has Bloomquist as the UIF and Franklin stashed away at AAA. I donĀ“t see the need for Nunez.

  8. NotoriousSTD says:

    Fail to see journeyman Solarte worth losing Nunez, especially with the current infield. Wow.

    • mitch says:

      journeyman who’s actually younger than Nunez

    • Mr. Roth says:

      You’re aware that Nunez provides negative value, right? He’s a career -1.7 bWAR and -1.9 fWAR. The team would be better off carrying 24 men on the roster than having Nunez as the 25th.

      • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead says:

        That’s somewhat of a misunderstanding of what replacement level is.

        Even a replacement level player has value above an empty lineup/defensive spot.

        • Mr. Roth says:

          I know, I was exaggerating to make the point that Nunez sucks. I guess exaggeration really isn’t needed to make that point though.

    • Dave Guarnieri says:

      Why did they DFA him? It does force their hand. Didn’t make a whole bunch of sense considering he had an option.

      He and Cano are buddies. Where ever he ends up, I hope he KILLS IT. Or at least be better than Kelly Johnson, oh wait, anybody is better than Kelly Johnson.

      • Mr. Roth says:

        “Or at least be better than Kelly Johnson, oh wait, anybody is better than Kelly Johnson.”

        You’re absolutely right…unless you rely on facts to shape your opinions. If you’re basing this on facts, you’re absolutely wrong.

  9. Darren says:

    If they can’t trade him, and a team claims him off waivers, can the Yankees pull him back, place him on the 40 man (making another 40 man move, obviously), and send him to AAA?

    No, right? DFA’d is different than regular waivers in that you can’t pull a player back from waivers, correct?

  10. NUNEY WILL BE A GREAT BACK WITH HIS BUDDY CANO BOTH HUNG AROUND AROD WAY TO MUCH, IF YOU REMEMBER NUNEY WAS FIRST TO CALL CANO TO CONGRADULATE HIM ON NEW CONTACT. NOW WE HAVE 8 GUYS THAT NEVER PLAYED TOGETHER ITS GOING TO TAKE TIME FOR THIS TEAM TO JELL BAD VIBES ALLAROUND

  11. Cuso says:

    If you get anything with a heartbeat in return for a DFA’d Nunez, consider that a win and move on.

  12. sevrox says:

    Watch Nunez sign with somebody and go .302, 20 HR, 69 RBI

    Or not.

  13. Jorge Steinbrenner says:

    I tend not to play shoulda/woulda, but I’d rather have kept him on the 40-man than ponder an emergency appearance by Carmen Angelini in June. What’s done is done, though.

    I hope he clears. I doubt it, though.

    • Cuso says:

      Meh. I think we’re all too invested because he’s a young(ish) guy that was given way too many chances and never grabbed the bull by the horns.

      Now, we all have this sneaky intuition that we’re going to get burned by cutting ties and he’s going to realize some potential a la Ramiro Pena with the Braves (not that Pena did much, but he did better).

      I personally think he was never going to do anything here because he needed the shock of being in a new organization.

      R-Tils would have said good riddance. It’s like I don’t even know you.

    • Dave Guarnieri says:

      The easy answer is that they want to see what they have in Zelous Wheeler. Nunez would impede this. They also want to take a long look at Scott Sizemore, who can opt-out on May 1st.

      It’s obvious the Yankees are relieved (no matter what the company line is) to break ties with Nunez. Giving his number to the guy who essentially took his job was a final slap in the face.

      I don’t think he’ll make it to waivers. If he does, he will be claimed by someone. Even if he does clears waivers, I would bet he will simply be outrighted.

      The Yankees have handled this terribly.

  14. mick taylor says:

    they should put tex on waivers

  15. Yankee$ says:

    Angelini? Oh my. I was kidding when I dropped his name a day or two ago. Can he field?

  16. RobertGKramer@AOL.Com says:

    And playing SS for the RailRiders right now is Zelous Wheeler.

  17. RobertGKramer@AOL.Com says:

    Wheeler was relieved by Angelini in the bottom of the ninth.

  18. TheJman says:

    I wouldn’t mind Nunez clearing waivers and heading to Scranton. In all likelihood though he won’t clear. Even if they get some AA non-prospect, it’s better than nothing.

    • Dave Guarnieri says:

      Look, he had an option left. If the Yankees wanted him in Scranton, he’d be there. Trade? Again, they could have put him in AAA without the time restaint to get a deal done.

      And the roster space, I’d wager a kidney that Brendon Ryan is heading to the 60 day DL. Pinched nerves in the neck and shoulder sound pretty horrible. They could have put him on the 60 day DL & kept Nunez on the farm. Ryan has not even started “baseball activities” when initially the Yanks said he’d be back in a week. To say The Yanks don’t disclose the severity of injuries is not exactly a shock.

      Another option was to 60 Day DL Nik Turley.

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