Eduardo Nunez, who not so long ago was viewed by many people as the Yankees’ heir apparent to Derek Jeter, has been designated for assignment.
Nunez was never actually a very good bet to become the Yankees’ long-term solution at shortstop, which some jerks liked to point out on the internet in 2011. Still, it’s somewhat surprising that New York is cutting bait completely considering he’s been a semi-regular as a utility man.
However, he can’t play defense well enough for shortstop and can’t hit well enough for third base, batting .267 with 10 homers and a .692 OPS in 827 career plate appearances through age 26. Yangervis Solarte is the Yankees’ new utility man with Brendan Ryan hurt and Nunez is likely headed to the waiver wire.
The Phillies and Red Sox appear intent on pursuing free agent first baseman Carlos Santana, MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports. Santana rejected a one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Indians on Thursday and is expected to draw widespread interest on the market this winter. The Mets, Mariners, Angels and Indians could make a play for the infielder, though no serious offers have been made this early in the offseason.
Santana, 31, is coming off of a seven-year track with the Indians. He batted .259/.363/.455 with 23 home runs and 3.0 fWAR last season, making 2017 the fourth-most valuable year of his career to date. Although he was primarily stationed at first base over the last year, he could step back into a hybrid first base/DH role with the Red Sox, who are hurting for infield depth with Hanley Ramirez still working his way back from shoulder surgery.
As for Santana’s other suitors, the Mariners are far less likely to pursue a deal after trading for Ryon Healy last Wednesday. Neither the Mets nor the Phillies have a DH spot to offer the veteran infielder, and the Phillies’ Rhys Hoskins appears to be blocking the way at first base. Then again, Santana may not find a more enticing offer outside of Cleveland, where Edwin Encarnacion might otherwise be the club’s best option at first base. During the GM meetings, Indians’ GM Mike Chernoff said he “love to have both [Santana and Jay Bruce] back” in 2018, but hasn’t backed up that love with any contract talks just yet.