By acquiring Eduardo Nunez this offseason, the New York Mets can ensure themselves a safe future at third base.
Over the past few seasons, Nunez has proven to be extremely reliable in a starting or utility role. Through 465 at-bats split between the San Francisco Giants and Boston Red Sox this season, Nunez is batting .312 with 12 home runs, 58 RBI, 24 stolen bases and 59 runs scored.
Nunez’s flexibility is rare, but his production is rarer. Only five other MLB players—Mike Trout, Mookie Betts, Jose Altuve, Jonathan Villar and Jean Segura—have 50 stolen bases and 25 home runs to their name since the start of the 2016 season.
When Boston acquired the infielder on July 26, they found themselves just one game up on the New York Yankees and two and a half games ahead of the Tampa Bay Rays for first place in the AL East.
Over a month later, Nunez’s contributions on both offense and defense have allowed the Red Sox to take a three-game lead in the division. Since acquiring Nunez, Boston has gone 26-15.
Unfortunately, Cabrera’s uncertain future with the team, Reyes’ impending free agency, and Rivera’s elbow surgery indicate that the Mets need to hit the market in order to find a replacement for Wright, as it won’t come from within.
Many aspects of Nunez’s game are similar to Wright’s. They both hit for average, field the ball well, and possess strong leadership qualities.
— Platano Power RD (@PlatanoPowerDO) September 6, 2017
This season, the Mets have proven that they can’t find an adequate leadoff hitter. By using a small portion of the money expected to come off their books after 2017, they can guarantee themselves a bonafide stud third baseman that can fill that void atop the lineup.
Nunez also has experience playing under the bright lights in New York, as he began his career with the New York Yankees. Between that and his time with Boston, he’d have no issues playing in a big city.
Nunez is a team-first player, and his impact with the Mets would be astronomical if he ends up in Flushing.