By: Jake Perda
In the midst of Tuesday night’s 13 inning loss to the Seattle Mariners, it was confirmed that the Boston Red Sox had acquired third baseman/utility man Eduardo Nunez from the San Francisco Giants. If this deal had been done a week ago, I don’t think anyone would have batted an eye. The reaction from the fans would’ve been, “Oh, a third baseman that can hit the ball. Cool.” Instead, this move has led to a lot of confusion among Red Sox fans.
Despite John Farrell’s unwillingness to commit to Devers beyond Wednesday, I personally do not believe that Eduardo Nunez was brought here to be the team's third baseman. The calling up of a top prospect is a pretty big deal; that being said, I can’t imagine Dave Dombrowski calling up Rafael Devers just to either send him back down or slide him into a platoon role after two games. In a scenario where Devers goes a week or two without anything starting to click for him and the team continues to slide in the standings, then I can see John Farrell potentially making a move. But as we stand today, Devers should, and likely will, continue to start at the hot corner. Especially if he keeps taking swings like this:
If Nunez wasn’t brought here to play third, then what was he brought here to do? Looking at the trade as the roster stands today, it looks like we just got something that we already had too much of: A guy who can hit the ball in the gaps (.308 AVG, 21 2B), but isn’t going to hit you the home runs that this team needs (4 HR’s in 76 games). We already have plenty of 3B/UTIL guys in Brock Holt, Deven Marrero, and Tzu-Wei Lin. The only logical explanation is that there has to be an injury that we haven’t heard about. Whether it’s Xander Bogaerts, who’s hit .165 over his last 23 games, or Brock Holt, who’s 7 for 31 (.226) since returning to the big league team, Dombrowski must have acquired Nunez in order to replace someone who is set for some time off or even a DL stint.
Regardless of what Nunez was brought here to do, he needs to provide a spark offensively when he’s put in the lineup. If this team continues to skid, and the players, fans, media, and management all continue to turn on each other, we may be watching another second half collapse resulting in the Sox being left on the outside looking in for the 3rd time in 4 years when October comes around. Yes, it’s absolutely idiotic that I even have to mention this when it’s not even August, but all I’ve seen over the last 3 or 4 days is bad vibes and everyone looking for someone/something else to blame. On the bright side, the additions of Devers and Nunez should provide the team with some much needed offensive production. If the guys around them can start to heat up, perhaps the Sox can save this season from becoming a 195 million dollar lost cause.