There it is, he is back. After it was reported on Thursday that the Red Sox had a deal in place with Eduardo Nunez, the team did not make it official until Sunday morning. It appears that Nunez arrived at Fort Myers on Friday to take a physical. That was followed by a workout, one that was pretty grueling, according to Nunez, “They almost killed me. They gave me a lot of stealing bases, running, hitting, ground balls, diving, everything, and I passed it.” A day later, team officials made sure there was no swelling in Nunez’s right knee, and they were satisfied with the results. With Nunez back in a Red Sox uniform, Dustin Pedroia will more than likely be out for an extended period of time to start the season. At 34 years old, there is no reason to rush Pedroia back, especially since that has had negative effects on both the team and Pedroia in the past. Nunez can provide stability at second while Pedroia is absent and provide a spark at other positions in the infield as well. Last season, after he was traded from the San Francisco Giants on July 26, Nunez played 2B, 3B, and SS, and posted the best OPS+ of his career (129) in 38 games with the Red Sox.
As far as the contract details, Nunez will make approximately $4 million dollars this upcoming season to go along with a player option worth up to another $4 million in 2019. I don’t know a ton about the financials of baseball yet, but I’m going to go out on a limb and say this is a great deal for the Red Sox. Bringing in a super utility guy like Nunez on that inexpensive of a contract is a bargain. He’s familiar with the team and he has already thrived here. Bringing him back also helps Devers, as Nunez seemed to have taken the young third baseman under his wing last summer. As long as Nunez can stay healthy, this is a positive move all around, and it leaves the Red Sox with money to spend and still stay under the luxury tax threshold, looking at you J.D. Let’s make it happen.