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Prospects in wings, Braves may be fit for Nunez

MLB.com

Fully recovered from a right knee injury he sustained last September, veteran infielder Eduardo Nunez has seen his market develop quickly in early February.

Braves could be a fit for Nunez
The Braves have joined in on the pursuit of Nunez, a source told MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez on Thursday.

Fully recovered from a right knee injury he sustained last September, veteran infielder Eduardo Nunez has seen his market develop quickly in early February.

Braves could be a fit for Nunez
The Braves have joined in on the pursuit of Nunez, a source told MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez on Thursday.

According to Sanchez, Atlanta is one of the teams to have "expressed serious interest" in the versatile infielder, in addition to the Yankees, Red Sox and Rays.

The Mets had also been in the mix, per Sanchez, but their signing of third baseman Todd Frazier this week eliminated that need.

:: Free agent buzz ::

The Braves have been looking at options for third base while prospect Austin Riley -- ranked by MLB Pipeline as the No. 6 third-base prospect and the No. 97 overall prospect in baseball -- develops. Nunez could also provide depth for Atlanta at both middle-infield positions, currently occupied by the young Dansby Swanson and Ozzie Albies-- This report was first posted on Feb. 8.

Multiple AL East clubs reportedly pursuing Nunez
With the Red Sox, Yankees and Rays showing interest in him, Nunez has been working out in the Dominican Republic for much of the offseason as part of his rehabilitation. Nunez enjoyed a productive stint with Boston after being acquired from the Giants ahead of last year's non-waiver Trade Deadline -- batting .321/.353/.539 with eight homers in 38 games -- and the Red Sox have been connected to the contact-hitting righty numerous times this offseason. The rumors of late are particularly timely with Spring Training fast approaching and Boston's stalled conversations with free-agent blue chip J.D. Martinez.

In Boston, top prospect Rafael Devers showed incredible promise with his bat but proved to have some defensive liabilities in his brief stint with the big league club. Should the Red Sox decide to move Devers to first or DH, that would open a long-term hole at third, where Nunez may fit. Second baseman Dustin Pedroia, who underwent offseason knee surgery, is not expected to be ready by Opening Day, which would create an opening there, though president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski has said he likes Marco Hernandez to make contributions in Pedroia's stead.

However, the Yankees have also been in the market for a versatile defender like Nunez, notably with question marks at third base after losing Frazier in free agency and shipping Chase Headley back to San Diego. Miguel Andujar, the club's No. 5 prospect, per MLB Pipeline, is currently in line to be the everyday third baseman a week before pitchers and catchers report.

In the Bronx, Nunez would offer familiarity. He was originally signed by the club as an amateur free agent in 2004 and debuted with the Yankees in 2010. Though they have been speculated to be in the market for upcoming free agent Manny Machado next offseason, Nunez could provide a stopgap at third for the time being and also contribute across the infield. He initially played shortstop in the Bronx and logged 26 games at second base last year in Boston.

Nunez has experience playing third base, shortstop, second base and left field, making him an attractive option for clubs seeking flexibility around the diamond.

The Mets were reportedly interested in Nunez prior to holding a news conference introducing Frazier on Wednesday. The Blue Jays were also linked to Nunez earlier this offseason before acquiring versatile infielder Yangervis Solarte from the Padres. -- This report was first posted on Feb. 7.

Eduardo Nunez