Sources: Yanks expect [Derek Jeter] to be back, but they have identified their Plan B if he isn’t — Eduardo Nunez. The 23-year-old SS would be given the opportunity to win the SS job in spring, rather than the Yankees immediately pursuing a veteran like Orlando Cabrera.
This is obviously a less than ideal situation. Nunez is a decent player and for another team he might even be their starting shortstop, but fans might form a mutiny against Brian Cashman should they somehow fail to re-sign Jeter and be forced to use Nunez instead.
Nunez hit .289 with a .721 OPS in 464 at bats with Triple-A Scranton last season. He has almost no home run power with just a bit of gap power. That can improve a little, but not dramatically. He hit .322 in 2009 at Double-A, but his walk rate is pretty low. Considering his average defense, he certainly not an impressive replacement at any level.