"Sources: Yanks expect [Derek Jeter] to be back, but they have identified their Plan B if he isn’t—Eduardo Nunez. The 23-year-old SS would be given the opportunity to win the SS job in spring, rather than the Yankees immediately pursuing a veteran like Orlando Cabrera."
This is obviously a less than ideal situation. Nunez is a decent player, and for another team he might even be their starting shortstop, but fans might form a mutiny against Brian Cashman should they somehow fail to re-sign Jeter and be forced to use Nunez instead.
Nunez hit .289 with a .721 OPS in 464 at-bats with Triple-A Scranton last season. He has almost no home run power with just a bit of gap power. That can improve a little, but not dramatically. He hit .322 in 2009 at Double-A, but his walk rate is pretty low. Considering his average defense, he is certainly not an impressive replacement at any level.
November 20, 2010—Making Sense of the Yankees Offseason Rumors
November 10, 2010—ESPN: Discussion About Playing Time May Be Next For Jeter
December 1, 2010—Yankees Might Bump Jeter Offer to $51 Million
November 30, 2010—Jeter and Agent Meet with Yankees Today (Updated)