The Braves are interested in the Yankees’ Eduardo Nunez

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John Harper of the New York Daily News reports that the Braves have asked the Yankees about the availability of Eduardo Nunez.  That’s fine as far as it goes. The Braves need someone to play shortstop and there aren’t a ton of great candidates available.

Think of it as last call. You look around and find someone that might make you feel good for a little while.  I won’t judge you, man.  That is unless you actually think you love that person at the end of the bar:

“They need offense, they need a shortstop because they don’t want to bring (Alex) Gonzalez back, and they like Nunez a lot,” Harper’s source said. “They know the jury is out on him defensively, but they think his offense is strong enough that he could move to the outfield if he can’t be their long-term answer at short.”

Er, OK. Look, Nunez has his uses, but he also has an OBP of .318 and a grand total of 30 homers in 2700+ career minor league plate appearances. I know it’s not the 90s anymore, but if it’s offense which makes him attractive to you, Frank Wren, you may want to make sure you aren’t goggling.

Not to say that there isn’t a lot of room for the Braves and Yankees to make a trade here. The Braves have a lot of pitching lying around and will have to move Jair Jurrjens or Tommy Hanson — almost certainly Jurrjens — at some point soon.  These two teams have hooked up in trades in the past and it would not be at all shocking if they did again.

But Braves: you had better ask for something more than Eduardo Nunez’s mighty bat if you’re going to make a deal, OK?

Home Run Derby Preview and Predictions

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The Home Run Derby goes off tonight at 8PM. It’ll be on ESPN and streaming at MLB.com.

Say what you want about the Home Run Derby, but it’s a heck of a lot better now in its truncated, three-round, head-to-head, bracketed version than it used to be. The thing moves along nicely, there’s natural building drama and all of that. We like to complain about everything, but the format and entertainment value of the Home Run Derby is pretty darn good and way better than it used to be.

Not that we can’t find something to complain about. This year many will no doubt complain about the lack of star power. Last year we had Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge. This year we have Bryce Harper and Freddie Freeman — good, but not the pure power beasts we had in 2017 — and beyond them it’s a little anonymous, at least to the casual fan.

My personal view is that that’s OK because it helps introduce folks to players they may not have seen or heard much about. And, let’s not forget, Giancarlo Stanton got eliminated in the first round last year and the guy who lost the final — Miguel Sano — has been playing A-ball down in Fort Myers for the past month. Star power doesn’t mean everything. The dingers take center stage here, not the names.

For 2018, this is who we have:

As we did last year, Bill, Ashley, and I have peered into our crystal ball to tell you exactly what’s going to happen tonight. At least I told you exactly what would happen last year. You may not have heard this anywhere else — I hardly ever mention it because of my natural humbleness — but I picked the whole Derby correctly. Totally by skill and not by dumb luck, I can assure you. As such, if any of my picks are wrong it’s because the thing is rigged.

BILL

Round 1
Jesus Aguilar over Rhys Hoskins
Kyle Schwarber over Alex Bregman
Bryce Harper over Freddie Freeman
Javier Baez over Max Muncy

Round 2
Kyle Schwarber over Jesus Aguilar
Bryce Harper over Javier Baez

Final
Kyle Schwarber over Bryce Harper

 

ASHLEY

Round 1
Rhys Hoskins over Jesus Aguilar
Kyle Schwarber over Alex Bregman
Bryce Harper over Freddie Freeman
Javier Baez over Max Muncy

Round 2
Kyle Schwarber over Jesus Aguilar
Javier Baez over Bryce Harper

Final
Kyle Schwarber over Javier Baez

 

CRAIG

Round 1
Jesus Aguilar over Rhys Hoskins
Alex Bregman over Kyle Schwarber
Bryce Harper over Freddie Freeman
Max Muncy over Javier Baez

Round 2
Jesus Aguilar over Alex Bregman
Max Muncy over Bryce Harper

Final
Jesus Aguilar over Max Muncy