Yankees Hot Stove: Eduardo Nunez is no longer an option

Rich Schultz

The Yankees are going to have a hard time replacing Robinson Cano, whether they look internally or externally. They have passed on Omar Infante and Mark Ellis, and now signed Brian Roberts, but that doesn't mean they're done looking. They could look into a trade if they want to find someone to play over Kelly Johnson and Roberts. Brandon Phillips, Dan Uggla, Rickie Weeks, Darwin Barney, and Howie Kendrick are all trade options Brian Cashman could pursue. Everyone but Kendrick is likely to be thrown at the Yankees if they really want them.

The Yankees no longer see Eduardo Nunez as an option to fill in at second base, or any position, for more than just an emergency. After talking to a source, Sherman says "they wonder about his toughness/fragility after his slow healing in 2013, and likely are not anxious to have him learn a position in which his back will be to the runner on double-play pivots." That sounds like the kiss of death for Nunez's Yankee career. They needed him in 2013, but he disappointed again and now it looks like they're moving on to avoid having to rely on him.

Joel Sherman believes that fans will be seeing a lot of the recently acquired Dean Anna. The 27-year-old utility infielder has never seen time in the majors, but has played second base, third base, shortstop, and the corner outfields. The left-handed hitter has a .286/.386/.428 batting line over six seasons in the Padres' system and hit .331/.410/.482 with nine home runs in his first go at Triple-A.

They reportedly don't like Emilio Bonifacio, who the Royals might see as expendable now that they have Infante. He's a switch-hitter who could give the Yankees another speedster on the base paths. He also "plays" almost every position in the field, though none of them well. They have no interest in Jeff Keppinger, who they tried to sign last offseason. He is still owed $8.5 million over the next two seasons and just had shoulder surgery, so it makes sense to stay away from him.

Whoever ends up being the starting second baseman, Eduardo Nunez might still sneak onto the Opening Day roster. Even if he doesn't, the signing of Roberts isn't going to do anything to help keep Nunez out.

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