There will be hundreds of MLB rumors around the New York Yankees this winter. Many of them will center around third baseman Alex Rodriguez and the possibility the Yankees will try to trade their embattled star. If the Yankees do happen to trade Rodriguez there won’t be many options to replace him. However, one replacement that makes a lot of sense is already on the Yankees roster.
Eduardo Nunez is hardly a favorite of Yankees fans but one thing is certain, at the plate and on the bases he is an asset. His biggest detractor has always been his glove and defense in general.
Those things can be worked on and Nunez could become a very valuable player if he becomes even mediocre in the field.
It would be hard to imagine the Yankees, if they manage to trade Rodriguez, or even want to, bringing on another huge contract through free agency. I just don’t see GM Brian Cashman spending another $10+ million on a player like Kevin Youkilis or, well anyone, for that matter. The Yankees will probably try to replace Rodriguez in-house. That means Nunez will get first dibs in all likelihood.
This season, the Yankees sent Nunez down to the minors to work on his play at shortstop in hopes he will one day take over for Derek Jeter and be effective. However, given all that has happened around Rodriguez recently, it might make more sense for Nunez to work on his defense at third and go from there.
Nunez has speed, power, and can steal bases. He is obviously nowhere near the caliber of Rodriguez defensively but he is athletic enough to become adept at third.
One thing that Nunez has going for him, he has hit this postseason and the Yankees might like to see what he can do if finally given the chance to play all season long.