FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The Red Sox have agreed to a one-year deal with super-utility man Eduardo Nunez, pending a physical, a source told on Thursday.
The completion of the physical is no small thing, considering Nunez finished last season with a PCL sprain of his right knee.
The Red Sox, sticking with team policy for uncompleted free-agent negotiations, have not confirmed the deal. FanRag Sports reported that the contract would include a club option for 2019.
Nunez would give the Red Sox an early-season replacement at second base for Dustin Pedroia, who is expected to miss the first few weeks of the regular season following left knee surgery.
Nunez was a strong fit on the field and in the clubhouse for the Red Sox down the stretch last season after they acquired the right-handed hitter in a trade with the Giants.
The acquisition of Nunez would be the second of this offseason for the Red Sox. The club re-signed first baseman Mitch Moreland in December. Boston still has interest in signing free-agent slugger J.D. Martinez and made him a five-year offer worth at least $100 million earlier in the winter.
If Nunez rejoins the Red Sox, he would bring value -- even after Pedroia returns -- as someone who can also play shortstop and third base, and even corner outfield if necessary.
The Yankees and the Rays were among the clubs who have negotiated with Nunez, according to a report by MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal earlier this month.
In 38 games for Boston last season, Nunez thrived, slashing .321/.353/.539 with eight homers and 27 RBIs.
The only thing that derailed Nunez with the Red Sox was the knee injury that he initially suffered on Sept. 9. He re-injured it in comeback attempts on Sept. 25 at Fenway Park and again in Game 1 of the American League Division Series against the Astros.
The 30-year-old did not need surgery, and his knee healed over the winter.
Nunez would also offer the Red Sox speed. He stole 24 bases last season and a career-high 40 in 2016.
In 669 career games, Nunez is a .282 hitter with 46 homers, 245 RBIs and 129 stolen bases.
Ian Browne/ 

Comments are closed.