Eduardo Nuñez is fast, and he can play a lot of positions. Some of them passably! He can hit for average and has gap power. Every team could use one of those players, whether on the bench of in the lineup.
Among Giants players, Eduardo Nunez drawing the most attention, b/c of versatility, athleticism— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) July 21, 2017
He isn’t expensive, and he’s not going to require a huge commitment. Teams will love him.
Except, how many teams really need a third baseman? We know the Red Sox do, though I’m not sure why, cough, but that’s all I know. So what I’ll do is look at every team within five games of the second wild card and see what they’ve got going on with the hot corner. Maybe we can figure this out.
The starting third baseman for every contending team
Red Sox - lol
Yankees - Todd Frazier/Chase Headley
Orioles - Manny Machado
Rays - Evan Longoria
Indians - Jose Ramirez
Twins - Miguel Sano
Royals - Mike Moustakas
Astros - Alex Bregman
Mariners - Kyle Seager
Angels - Yunel Escobar
Rangers - Adrian Beltre
Nationals - Anthony Rendon
Brewers - Travis Shaw
Cubs - Kris Bryant
Pirates - David Freese/Josh Harrison
Cardinals - Jedd Gyorko
Rockies - Some jerk
Dodgers - Justin Turner
Diamondbacks - Jake Lamb
If that’s a whole lot of names, and you’re not sure what that really means, here’s another way to process it.
A list of contending teams for whom Eduardo Nuñez would be a clear, obvious upgrade at third base
- Red Sox
- Yankees (if Todd Frazier is moved to first)
So. This bidding war might be a tad muted. We’ll have to look elsewhere.
The contending teams with a possible need at third, shortstop, or second
Red Sox, 3B
The question marks are for the teams that might have a player they aren’t keen on putting on the bench just yet, even if he’s stinking. Or, in the case of the Cardinals, a random weirdo they created out of mud and sticks who can’t possibly keep this up.
Again, this isn’t much of a bidding war, especially since teams like the Twins, Royals, Angels, and Cardinals are sort of half-in, half-out when it comes to the trade deadline.
The contending teams that could use some extra depth in the infield
All of them.
I’m guessing. But it’s an educated guess. Just about every contending bench would be upgraded with Nuñez filling in wherever is needed and giving their regular starters some rest.
The point of this exercise? To remind you of a couple things: First, that Buster Olney is right, and the Giants are probably fielding a lot of calls. Second, that very few of them are likely interested in Nuñez as a starter, so it’s wise to adjust your expectations of what the Giants are going to get in return.
If there’s any good news, it’s that there aren’t a lot of superior options to Nuñez if the Red Sox want a starter. There are Wilmer Flores, Jed Lowrie, Asdrubal Cabrera, and Yangervis Solarte, but I’d prefer Nuñez to all of them for a variety of reasons (injuries, salary, contract, age, reliability).
Still, this is not how the Giants will get prospect-rich. It’s in their best interests to get the best return possible for a pending free agent, but don’t expect them to fleece another team. It doesn’t look like this is the year to have a third baseman to deal.