Red Sox add Nunez in deal with Giants

Boston to send 2 Minor League pitchers to San Francisco

July 26th, 2017

SEATTLE -- The Red Sox added a right-handed bat with defensive versatility on Tuesday night, acquiring Eduardo Nunez from the San Francisco Giants for two Minor League pitchers.

The Red Sox are sending Minor League right-handers Shaun Anderson (their 18th-ranked prospect) and Gregory Santos to the Giants for Nunez, who could fill a few roles for Boston given his ability to play third, short and the corner outfield.

Nunez is expected to join the Red Sox on Friday for the opener of a homestand against the Royals.

"He'll play a lot for us," said Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski. "He's a very good offensive player. He can play a lot of different positions. He's been swinging the bat very well. He can run. He's versatile for us. Gives us another bat that we feel can help give us some offense, which we do need at this time."

The first question is how the addition of Nunez impacts third baseman Rafael Devers. MLB's No. 4 prospect made his debut for the Red Sox in Tuesday's 6-5 loss to the Mariners in 13 innings, going 0-for-4 while making several solid plays on defense.

Prior to the addition of Nunez, the Red Sox had planned on Devers serving as the starting third baseman against right-handed pitching.

"We haven't made our decision what we're going to do yet because [Nunez] is not going to report until Friday," said Dombrowski. "When I talked to him on the phone, because it was late in the day, he's got his family in San Francisco, we told him, rather than rush here tomorrow, get settled, fly into Boston on Thursday later in the day. So, we'll have to make a move on Friday."

If the Red Sox decide to keep the power-hitting Devers on the roster, he could form a left-right platoon with Nunez.

"We'll work [Nunez] in, but I think it's important for us to talk to him first and kind of outline what our plan is," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "Obviously a right-handed bat, a proven guy, hitting for a high average."

Nunez could also help spell shortstop Xander Bogaerts, who is hitting .147 with two RBIs in the 47 at-bats since he was hit in the right hand by a pitch on July 6.

If Devers remains with the Red Sox, Deven Marrero would likely be optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket. Marrero has been a strong defender for the Red Sox, but his offense (.212/258/.318) is limited.

The first sign that a trade was about to happen occurred when the Giants pinch-hit for Nunez in the bottom of the fifth inning of Tuesday's game against the Pirates. Nunez, who went 1-for-2 with a two-run double, hugged several teammates as he exited the dugout.

With the trade, Nunez goes from a San Francisco team that is in last place in the National League West to a Boston squad that leads the American League East.

Of the 75 games Nunez started for the Giants this season, 47 have been at third base. That position has been a revolving door for the Red Sox this season with little offensive production.

The 30-year-old Nunez is hitting .308 with four homers and 31 RBIs in 76 games this season.

"He's been very hot," said Dombrowski. "Since June 1, he's been one of the best hitters in baseball. But I think we'll have to probably sit down and visit how he's going to be used. With the versatility that he has, he can play a lot of different spots."

Dombrowski has less than a week before Monday's non-waiver Trade Deadline. A setup man appears to be at the top of Boston's wish list. The Red Sox have been scouting Tigers righty Justin Wilson.

"If we can get better, we'll still look to get better if possible," said Dombrowski.

In Nunez, the Red Sox get a player who has big-market experience. Nunez spent the first four seasons of his career (2010-13) with the Yankees. He moved on to the Twins in 2014 before being traded to the Giants last season.

Nunez will be a free agent for the first time this offseason.

In Anderson, the Giants get a 22-year-old righty who went 6-3 with a 3.42 ERA (37 ER/97.1 IP) in 18 starts between Single-A Greenville and High-A Salem in 2017.

The 17-year-old Santos was signed by the Red Sox as an international free agent on Aug. 28, 2015. He has made seven starts for the Dominican Summer League Red Sox this season, going 2-0 with a 0.90.