MLB Rumors: If Derek Jeter Leaves, the Yankees Will Go With Eduardo Nunez

Bronx Baseball DailySenior Analyst INovember 30, 2010

CHICAGO - AUGUST 29: Eduardo Nunez #12 of the New York Yankees throws the ball to first base against the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field on August 29, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. The Yankees defeated the White Sox 2-1. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Via Buster Olney of ESPN (second link):

"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.

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