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Eduardo Nunez to Giants: Latest Trade Details, Comments, Reaction

Joe Pantorno@@JoePantornoFeatured ColumnistJuly 29, 2016

Minnesota Twins’ Eduardo Nunez takes a lead at first base in a baseball game against the Oakland Athletics Wednesday, July 6, 2016, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
Associated Press

The San Francisco Giants announced Thursday they acquired infielder Eduardo Nunez from the Minnesota Twins in return for minor league pitcher Adalberto Mejia.

Entering Friday's slate of games, Nunez is batting .296 with 12 home runs, 47 RBI and a league-leading 27 stolen bases. 

The 2016 American League All-Star spoke with MLB.com's Rhett Bollinger about leaving the team with which he's spent the past two-plus seasons:

Rhett Bollinger @RhettBollinger

Eduardo Nunez: “It’s tough. The Minnesota Twins are a great organization. They have great people. They made me feel like I was at home.”

The 29-year-old has been enjoying his best year in the major leagues and was one of the only bright spots on a Twins team that is one of the worst in the big leagues. 

His 110 hits led the team, and his 12 home runs were tied for third behind Brian Dozier and Miguel Sano, respectively. Nunez has experienced a major jump in the power department, as he had never hit more than five home runs in a season since coming up with the New York Yankees in 2010.

He collected one of his homers in an unconventional way:

Nunez will hit his third year of arbitration after the campaign ends, per Spotrac. He's set himself up for a nice payday, after earning the first All-Star appearance of his career this season.

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Now on his way to San Francisco, Nunez is joining a contender that enters Friday with a 2.0-game lead over the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League West. That's a major change compared to playing on a last-place Twins team that improved to 38-63 after Thursday's win over the Baltimore Orioles.

This acquisition addresses a big problem the Giants have been dealing with for over a month. They have been without starting third baseman Matt Duffy since June 19 because of a strained Achilles, which has forced the team to use a platoon of Conor Gillaspie and Ramiro Pena in his place.

Nunez will likely slot into the starting third base role until Duffy returns. According to John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle, Duffy will begin playing minor league rehab games Saturday. 

The Giants will be able to take advantage of Nunez's versatility and play him all over the infield when Duffy returns.

But to get him, San Francisco had to part with its seventh-best minor league prospect in Mejia, per MLB.com.

Twins interim general manager Rob Antony told Bollinger that six teams were interested in Nunez, adding that Minnesota was looking for "close-to-MLB-ready pitching."

Mejia is 7-3 with a 2.81 ERA in 18 starts between Double-A and Triple-A this season, as he's rebounded from a 50-game suspension in 2015 for testing positive for a banned stimulant.

             

MLB stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com.

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