After all the speculation of acquiring a 3rd baseman, the Red Sox finally made a move and traded for Giants 3B, Eduardo Nunez. Boston sent right-handed pitchers Shaun Anderson and Gregory Santos to SF. Nunez is hitting .308 with 4 HR, 31 RBI and 18 SB, and has been one of the lone bright spots on a disappointing SFG team.
The timing of this deal is strange, as Dombrowski brings in Nunez just one day after promoting top prospect, Rafael Devers. Devers was in the middle of his first game with the Sox when it was announced that the Sox traded for Nunez. So now what do the Sox do with Devers? Xander Bogaerts has been in a major slump lately and it’s clear he’s not 100%, so do the Sox send X to the DL, play Nunez at SS and keep Devers at 3B? It wouldn’t be the worst idea. Bogaerts hasn’t been anywhere near his usual self of late as he’s seen his average drop to .287 on the season. And as I’m writing this right now, Devers just got his first major league hit — a HR to CF at Safeco Field. The Sox need offense desperately, which is why Devers got the promotion in the first place, and if he’s already showing pop in his bat, probably the best thing to do is leave him on the big league club, giving him regular at-bats.
If the team sends Devers back to AAA Pawtucket, it would not surprise me very much because of how the organization handles prospects at times, but I’d be completely disappointed if they demoted him. When Dombrowski first called up Devers he said that there were no better options at 3B… So what does he do after? Trades for another 3rd baseman. This might even shake Devers’ confidence a little bit. The President of baseball ops is saying he’s confident in Devers and that he’s the best option, after raking in the minors at such a young age, then he goes and trades for a different guy to man the hot corner. I think the Devers call-up was a sign of desperation, but if you’re going to call him up give him regular playing time (unlike what the team did with Sam Travis), don’t call him up and then have him ride the pine, which could be a possibility with Nunez coming in
I’m excited for the Nunez acquisition, especially because the Sox didn’t have to give up much to get him. Nunez is an on-base type of guy who can swipe bags. He doesn’t possess power, which is something the Sox really needed, see the Devers promotion, but he provides the team with a good average and speed.
This move cannot be the only deal the Sox do before the trade deadline, as they’re still in need for a power bat and they absolutely need bullpen help. I know the pen has had a good ERA this season, but who will actually be confident with Matt Barnes, Heath Hembree, Joe Kelly and Robbie Scott pitching in the playoffs? I know I’m not. Names that have popped up a lot in trade rumors are Pat Neshek and Justin Wilson. If the Sox could get either guy, I think that would be huge and it will help this team make a deeper run in the playoffs.
With Nunez coming to Boston I’m curious what Dombrowski and Farrell plan to do with him and Devers. I’d like to see them both be in the lineup almost every day, but the acquisition of Nunez will leave the status of Devers cloudy. Dombrowksi said he expects Nunez to play a lot, as he’s been one of the hottest hitters in baseball lately. With the possibility of Bogaerts heading to the DL and Devers also being able to DH at times, it’ll be interesting to see how playing time will shake up between them. Nunez is expected to be with the club on Friday, so by then we should have the answers.