The Yankees had a plan for Eduardo Nunez going into this season was to use him all over the field so that he could get into the lineup as much as possible. However, after he failed horribly at every position defensively, the Yankees plan for him going forward is to use him solely as a shortstop even if it means he’ll be sitting behind Derek Jeter most of the time.
“I look at Nunez and his value as a shortstop,” Yankees GM Brian Cashman told Ian O’Connor on his ESPN Radio show. “I don’t look at Nunez being valuable in an everyday role other than shortstop, and we have a shortstop. In terms of everyday status for Nuney, I don’t see one as long as Derek Jeter is sitting there. … All the calls of putting him in left field, I don’t understand.”
The reason Cashman doesn’t like Nunez in the outfield is because of his lack of power. He mentioned that his power ceiling isn’t even as high as 15 homers a year. Despite the fact that he had two outfielders this past year that both fit that description, Brett Gardner and Ichiro Suzuki, it’s still not an option for Nunez. I suppose the difference between him and the other two is that the other two provide exceptional defense.
So Nunez will ride the bench for the next two seasons while Jeter finishes out his contract. He’ll play occasionally when Jeet DH’s or gets a full day off. Other than that it’s hard to see Nunez playing too often. He’s just so bad defensively that they don’t trust him at third and second anymore.
A trade is certainly possible. Right now Nunez might be their best major league trade chip. He’s still very cheap, athletic, fast, and makes good contact at the plate. It wouldn’t be too hard to find a team willing to take a chance on him as their shortstop. He wouldn’t land a huge piece on his own obviously, but he certainly could be part of a larger package and if he’s filling such a small role than maybe it is the Yankees best option.