With the Mets sitting precariously in third place, it is almost universally accepted that Sandy Alderson will have to swing a trade or make a signing to cement the Mets as legitimate contenders from an offensive perspective. Sure the sixth-year General Manager brought in Jose Reyes and worked out Yulieski Gourriel, but let’s face it, neither of those players are imminent game changers.
Fortunately, the Amazins’ have several potential trading partners emerging as teams begin to fall out of the playoff hunt. Among these potential future partners are the Minnesota Twins. At 24 and 51, the Twins sit in the cellar of the American League Central, 20.5 games out of first place. But amid season long struggles marked by injuries to key players and struggles of top prospects, third baseman and shortstop Eduardo Nunez has been a bright spot in the Minnesota lineup.
In his first season as a full time regular, the Dominican speedster has slashed .312/.342./.473 with 17 stolen bases, a tally good for third in the American League. Nunez is also in the midst of a career best power surge, in fact his 10 home runs this season are already a personal record.
Advanced metrics confirm that Nunez’s success has been no fluke. His .330 BABIP is not too distant from his .312 batting average, proving that luck has played a very limited role in his success.
Furthermore, his hard 28 percent hard hit rate and minuscule 13 percent strikeout rate have legitimized him as a true multi-faceted power and on base threat in the Twins’ line up.
At 29 years old, Nunez has two years left of team control, making him significantly more than just a half season rental piece. But his recent success and multiple years of team control drive up his price substantially.
Conversations for Nunez would likely begin with a young high upside pitcher, according to a prominent Minnesota beat writer. While the Twins would likely push for somebody in the Mets’ current rotation, they are open to high potential minor league talent, perhaps young pitchers such as Gabriel Ynoa or Marcos Molina.
The Twins also have a need for talented catching. Kurt Suzuki‘s impending free agency along with the struggles of Juan Centeno and John Ryan Murphy signify that the Mets would likely need to part with a backstop. This means that one of Kevin Plawecki or Travis d’Arnaud probably needs to be on the table for the Twins to consider a deal.
Sure it’s a high ask, but Nunez is one of the premier options that the Mets can pursue in the near future. Unlike Gourriel or Reyes, Nunez is a young, controllable, known commodity, and he could provide the combination of speed and high on-base skills that the Mets so desperately need.
Given his production, potential, and availability, the Mets should certainly make a play for Eduardo Nunez. He’s an obvious fit; just how Yoenis Cespedes fulfilled the Mets’ power needs last year, Nunez could plug the gaping hole atop the Mets’ lineup this season.
With all that said, now we wait. Sandy, the ball is in your court.