The Washington Nationals must build their bench depth this off-season. Free agent utility man Eduardo Nunez is certainly worth considering.
All throughout 2017, the Washington Nationals were among the most injured teams in the league. Anthony Rendon missed some time at the beginning of the year with a calf injury, Adam Eaton went down with a gruesome leg injury in late-April, and a plethora of injuries followed all year.
Considering the myriad of injuries that the Nats suffer every year, players with defensive versatility are enormous assets. Kendrick is now a free agent and Difo struggles in the outfield, so the Nats should consider signing Eduardo Nunez to fill the utility role.
Nunez, a 30-year-old utility man, had a fantastic 2017 season with the San Francisco Giants and Boston Red Sox. In 114 total games, he owned a .313/.341/.460 slash line to go with 12 homers and 24 stolen bases.
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2017 was a terrific offensive season for Nunez, but this was nothing new. Throughout his eight-year career, he owns a career slash line of .282/.320/.415. This is great, especially considering that he is also very valuable defensively.
While putting together arguably the best offensive season of his career, Nunez also played all over the field. Over the course of the season, he appeared at second base, third base, shortstop, left field, and right field. This defensive versatility is one of his most attractive traits, and would give Dave Martinez some much-appreciated flexibility.
Nunez is also capable of creating offense with his speed. He stole 24 bases in 2017 and 40 in 2016. The Nats were a little too dependent on the long ball in 2017, which led to their offense stalling in October, so Nunez’s speed could be beneficial.
Finally, Nunez offers quite a bit of postseason experience. With the New York Yankees, Giants, and Red Sox, he has played in four postseasons throughout his career. 2018 figures to be a huge year for the Nats, and they have yet to advance past the National League Division Series, so Nunez’s postseason experience could prove to be a valuable asset and help put them over the top.
With the Nats lacking a true utility player on the bench, Eduardo Nunez could be a fit. They typically pride themselves on their bench depth, but it is currently incomplete, so keep Nunez’s name in mind.