Once upon a time, the Yankees were trying to acquire a certain left-hander in a trade with the Seattle Mariners named Cliff Lee. One of the holdups in the trade was the fact they didn’t want to include a certain shortstop that could hit, but couldn’t field. Fast forward to 2014, that guy is hanging on for dear life to his roster spot with the Yankees. That guy is Eduardo Nunez.
Even though I still think he has ton of ability with the bat and his legs, and the fact that the Yankees have yo-yo’d him all over the infield the way they did to Joba Chamberlain from starter to reliever, the fact is that injuries and his glove have held him back. He had his chance to show he could replace Derek Jeter, but Nunez missed most of the year himself.
Even if Nunez crushes it in Spring Training, which he hasn’t been, there’s so much competition for second and third that it may not even be good enough. Jeter will be playing shortstop when he can and Brendan Ryan will help there as well as in the infield. Kelly Johnson and Brian Roberts will be on the roster too. That leaves one spot between Nuni, Scott Sizemore, Dean Anna and Yangervis Solarte.
Looking ahead to after the season, shortstop could have guys like JJ Hardy, Hanley Ramirez and Asdrubal Cabrera in the free agent market, all of whom the Yankees are going to be interested in, if they aren’t re-signed before hand.
Once upon a time Nuni was a solution. Now, he’s probably just another guy.