Minnesota Twins Eduardo Nunez Trade, One Year Later
One year ago, the Minnesota Twins made a trade of their starting third baseman for a young pitcher. How has that deal worked out?
The Minnesota Twins were stuck in a bad spot at this point last season. They had just hosted the Atlanta Braves in a 2-game series in Target Field, with the two teams in a dead heat coming into the series as the worst team in the league. The Minnesota Twins came out of that 2-game set as the clear leader for the #1 overall pick, a distinction the team would run away with.
The poor season led to the firing of general manager Terry Ryan roughly a week prior to that series, and the series was the final nail in the coffin that led to a sell off of pieces, and one of those deals happened a year ago today, when Eduardo Nunez was traded to the San Francisco Giants.
Nunez had come to the Twins in April of 2014 in a trade for a minor leaguer. He had been a guy to play consistently as a backup with the Yankees for multiple seasons, hitting .267/.313/.379 over 4 years with the Yankees, playing in 270 games and hitting 10 home runs, stealing 48 bases, and playing 2B, 3B, SS, LF, and RF for the Yankees.
With the Twins, Nunez played the role of super sub in 2014 and 2015, hitting a combined .265/.299/.406 with 8 home runs and 17 stolen bases in 417 plate appearances. However, no one was expecting him to play the way he did when he took over as a primary starter for the Twins in 2016, playing significant time at both short and third, hitting .296/.325/.439 before the trade with 12 home runs and 27 stolen bases.
The Twins shopped Nunez as a starting infielder and found the Giants, clinging onto a lead in their division and fading fast, desperate for a spark plug. The Giants had a controllable left-handed pitcher at the cusp of the major leagues that the Twins were able to acquire straight up for Nunez in Adalberto Mejia.
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A year later
Nunez kept a similar OPS to his Twins OPS with the Giants, but he wasn’t the spark the team needed as they faded hard and had to settle for the Wild Card game before being defeated 3 games to 1 by the Chicago Cubs in the NL Division Series.
Mejia made just one appearance in the majors in 2016 that didn’t go well, but he’s taken over a rotation spot for the Twins and shown very well this year, making 15 starts, throwing 74 2/3 innings, with a 4.10 ERA, 1.45 WHIP, and a 34/63 BB/K ratio.
Next: Mitch Garver Scouting Report
The Giants just moved Nunez, hitting .308/.334/.417 with 21 doubles, 4 home runs and 18 stolen bases this season, to the Boston Red Sox for minor leaguers Shaun Anderson and Gregory Santos.
What do you think? Did the Twins get the best end of this trade? Did they get fleeced? Comment below!