It’s tough to see how this trade will eventually affect Nunez’s value. On the positive and known front, Nunez is going to a better hitter’s home park. Additionally, the Red Sox’s lineup (4.7 R/G) is better than the Giants (4.0 R/G). That is about where the certainty ends.
The biggest questions are when and where will Nunez play. He’s played third, short, and the outfield so far this season. Additionally, he’s played at second as recently as last year. The Red Sox don’t have any major holes across their lineup especially after promoting Rafael Devers to play third.
Besides Devers, the other weak spot in the lineup may be Mitch Moreland at first base. The team could bench Moreland and move Hanley Ramirez to first. Or possibly move Devers to first and let Nunez play third.
Sadly, I think Nunez will start his time in Boston by playing sporadically all over the field. He can give just about everyone a breather. At some point, a regular will head to the DL and Nunez will then fill in and go back to the bench once the player returns.
One other possibility is Devers becomes overmatched (not happening yet) and gets demoted. There are just too many possibilities.
I think the erratic playing time will make him a non-factor in all but the deepest of leagues (20+ or AL-only) to start out. If possible, owners should try to keep him on their bench until his role materializes. The 15 steal potential just can’t be ignored. In those deeper leagues, he might be worth using just for the possible pinch running steals.
Since Nunez doesn’t have a role yet, none of the other roles for Boston starters seem in jeopardy. Devers and Moreland owners may want to pick up Nunez, if he becomes available, to use as a possible handcuff.
And as for the two pitchers (Shaun Anderson and Gregory Santos) the Giants got in return, they are non-factors for the 2017 season. Anderson was a “Prospect of Note” in Eric Longhagen’s Red Sox list.
The Mariners traded minor leaguer Tyler O’Neill to the Cardinals for Marco Gonzales.
This trade is just weird. I don’t think it would be as confusing if it happened during the offseason. The Mariners and Cardinals sort of see themselves as contenders and this move doesn’t really move the needle for either team.
O’Neill is close to being a contributing major leaguer after spending all of 2017 in AAA. Our own Eric Longenhagen projected 22-year-old outfielder as an average major leaguer.
The Cardinals could use some outfield help with both Dexter Fowler and Stephen Piscotty on the DL. But for now, the Cardinals sent O’Neill to their AAA affiliate. He could be a power option if the Cardinals eventually promote and play him every day.
As for the Mariners, they got a back-of-the-rotation option who has thrown three uninspiring innings in the majors this season (13.50 ERA). Gonzales is projected to strike out about seven batters per nine while walking three. Considering he’s home run prone, there isn’t much to get excited over.
Maybe the Mariners can find and implement an improvement to boost his value but as for now, he’s a non-factor in all leagues.
Swarzak loses any potential for Saves in Chicago to be a setup man in Milwaukee. Swarzak really isn’t good enough to be started if he isn’t getting Saves
Cordell is intriguing. First of all his back is hurting which has forced him to the DL. In about 300 minor league games, he has 10 HR and 9 SB with a .284 average. In deep leagues, his power-speed combination is definitely playable. He may fly under the radar as he heals up but an owner needing steals may take a chance on him if he’s promoted.
Jeff, one of the authors of the fantasy baseball guide,The Process, writes for RotoGraphs, The Hardball Times, Rotowire, Baseball America, and BaseballHQ. He has been nominated for two SABR Analytics Research Award for Contemporary Analysis and won it in 2013 in tandem with Bill Petti. He has won three FSWA Awards including on for his MASH series. In his first two seasons in Tout Wars, he's won the H2H league and mixed auction league. Follow him on Twitter @jeffwzimmerman.