Boston Acquires Nunez from Giants for Two Pitching Prospects

On Tuesday, July 25, the Boston Red Sox sent two right-handed pitching prospects, Shaun Anderson and Gregory Santos, to San Francisco for utility player, Eduardo Nunez.

From the Red Sox standpoint, this trade makes a lot of sense because their third base position has been a revolving door all season long.  They have called up top prospect Rafael Devers, but with only 35 at bats at AAA, it is unknown how well he’ll hit in the majors.  Even if Devers performs well in the big leagues, he is a lefty and was expected to be part of a platoon at the position.  That can still happen with the right-handed Nunez in Boston if the team wants it to, so this trade shouldn’t affect Devers’ playing time if he is performing well. Nunez has hit well all season long, with a .308/.334/.417 slashline in 76 games with the Giants.  The fact that he can play passable, if not solid, defense at third and second bases, plus shortstop and the corner outfield positions will come in handy for the Red Sox as they get closer to the playoffs.  This deal was smart for Boston because they get help at the position they needed it most and didn’t have to give up much to acquire him.  I do think that they certainly missed out on Todd Frazier, whom I think provides more power than Nunez and is something the Red Sox lineup is missing. However, there is a possibility that Frazier could have cost quite a bit more than Nunez did and in the brief time that the Red Sox will have the player, it isn’t worth giving up the extra prospects.

Shaun Anderson is a 22 year old starting pitcher who was in A ball in the Boston system.  In seven starts at the level, he is 3-0 with a 2.56 ERA and a 1.06 WHIP in 38.2 innings.  Gregory Santos is also a starting pitcher but is 17 years old and was signed out of the Dominican Republic by the Red Sox.  This year, Santos has been in the Dominican Summer League and has pitched very well in seven starts, posting a 0.90 ERA in 30.0 innings.  Both players have pitched very well at the low levels but that doesn’t necessarily mean it will equate to success in the big leagues.  For example, Anderson Espinoza, who the Red Sox traded to the Padres two offseasons ago for Drew Pomeranz, was pitching very well in the Rookie and Summer Leagues, has struggled badly in the Padres system.

I think this trade was smart for the Giants because Nunez is a free agent at the end of the season and was unlikely to be retained by them.  The Giants also have one of the poorest farm systems in baseball so adding two arms to it, despite how young they are, is a smart trade for the team.

As an aside, I do find it amusing how the Red Sox signed Pablo Sandoval out of San Francisco a few years ago, he didn’t work out in Boston and released him, then traded for Eduardo Nunez, and then Sandoval signs a minor league deal with the Giants.

*All stats and information came from ESPN, Baseball-Reference, and Fangraphs

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