The Atlanta Braves are among clubs showing serious interest in free agent infielder Eduardo Nuñez, according to a report from MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez:
Source: Add the Braves to the list of teams that have expressed serious interest in infielder Eduardo Nunez. The Yankees, Rays and Red Sox are also in the mix. The Mets were in play until they signed Todd Frazier.— Jesse Sanchez (@JesseSanchezMLB) February 8, 2018
Nuñez, 30, has produced strong numbers at the plate over the last three seasons while playing effective defense all over the diamond. In 2017, the utility man posted a career-high .801 OPS while slashing .313/.341/.460 in stints with both the Giants and the Red Sox.
Nuñez age is not affecting his versatility: the veteran played second base, third base, shortstop, DH, and even made the rounds in left and right field last season. Nuñez proved efficient on the base paths as well, swiping 24 bags in 31 attempts.
Albeit a relatively small sample size, Nuñez put up uncharacteristically strong power numbers after a deadline deal sent him to Boston. The right-handed batter hit 8 home runs and 12 doubles in just 38 games in a Red Sox uniform, good for a .321/.353/.539 slash line.
The Braves' interest in Nuñez is no surprise: the club is lacking depth at third base as things currently stand. Third baseman Adonis Garcia took the bulk of the at-bats at the hot corner over the last three season, but recently signed a deal with the LG Twins to play in the Korean Baseball League.
Atlanta currently has third basemen Johan Camargo and Rio Ruiz on the 40-man roster, though neither figure to be everyday big leaguers as the Braves slowly transition to a contending mindset. The Braves do have top-100 prospect and third baseman Austin Riley waiting in the wings, though the minor leaguer has just 48 games of Double-A experience under his belt.
While Riley develops in the lower levels, a two or three-year deal for the veteran Nuñez makes a lot of sense. He's not going to force Swanson out of the shortstop spot, but if Nuñez is willing to spend most of his time at third base, he could help revitalize a Braves lineup looking for consistent contributors around Ender Inciarte and Freddie Freeman.