The next time Eduardo Nunez’s helmet flies off sliding into third base, it will have a Minnesota Twins logo on it. The former Yankees infielder who was once considered the heir to Derek Jeter at shortstop was traded to the Twins on Monday for minor league pitcher Miguel Sulbaran.
Nunez, 26, played 270 games for the Yankees, hitting .267 with 10 homers, 76 RBI and 48 stolen bases. He was expected to open the season with the Yankees in a platoon with Kelly Johnson at third base, but was outplayed by Dean Anna and Yangervis Solarte during spring training and ultimately designated for assignment.
For years, Nunez has struggled with consistency on both offense and defense. He never achieved what many scouts and coaches believed he was able to at the plate, and was frequently a nightmare in the field. That lack of consistency is ultimately what led the Yankees to take a shot in the dark with Anna and Solarte – a pair of career minor leaguers – when they broke camp.
In exchange for Nunez, the Yankees received Sulbaran, a 20-year-old left-hander who has yet to pitch above A-ball. In 55 career minor league games (45 starts), Sulbaran is 21-10 with a 3.15 ERA. He was originally an international free agent signed by the Dodgers in 2011 before being traded to the Twins last year.