San Francisco Giants: After Hug Watch, Nunez Goes to Boston

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JUNE 11: Eduardo Nunez
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JUNE 11: Eduardo Nunez /

It’s officially trade season, and the San Francisco Giants have made their first move.

The trade deadline is less than a week away, and the San Francisco Giants have said they’ll be open for business as sellers this year. That didn’t make Tuesday’s scene in the dugout any less sudden, or any less sad.

In the fifth inning of one of the team’s best all-around games of the season, Eduardo Nunez was called back from the on-deck circle in favor of pinch-hitter Kelby Tomlinson. It was understandable at the beginning to think this was a precautionary move. Nunez, who has been dealing with hamstring problems for a long stretch of the year, was smoked on the elbow by a fastball two innings early, and went down in a considerable amount of pain. He did go on to hit a two-run double off the right field wall in the next inning, though.

It soon became clear that this was no precautionary move. Cameras caught manager Bruce Bochy giving Nunez a hug in the dugout, and he was soon followed by other Giants’ players before Nunez began to gather up his things and head down the tunnel to be greeted with more hugs and handshakes.

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Nunez was on the move a lot with the Giants, stealing 31 bases in 126 games while wearing the orange and black. He’s on the move again, flying cross country to join the Boston Red Sox as they chase a pennant.

Nunez’s time with the Giants wasn’t long, as he spent less than a full calendar year with the team. His impact, however, was unquantifiable. Nunez became an immensely popular player among the fanbase, with his energetic play on the field and infectious smile grabbing fans’ attention.

During a rough 2017 season, Nunez was one of the few bright spots. When he was pulled from Tuesday’s game, he owned a .308 average, good for second on the team. He had 21 doubles, also good for second, and stole 18 bases to pace the squad. He drove in 31 runs and scored 37, and really turned his season around after a sluggish start.

Nunez had a .246 average on May 14th, but after making some adjustments with hitting coach Hensley Meulens, turned into one of the Giants’ only consistent offensive threats. In the 40 games since May 14th, Nunez hit .354/.378/.506. In his last four games, he picked up 10 hits and four RBI in 16 at-bats to finish his Giants’ career with a bang.

His new team is 1.5 games up on the New York Yankees in the American League East, and hoping to add a little extra firepower in what has been an extremely competitive division this season.

In exchange for the impending free agent, the Red Sox sent two minor league pitchers back to San Francisco. The older of the duo is right-hander Shaun Anderson, the team’s third-round pick in last year’s draft out of the University of Florida. Anderson has made 18 starts this season between Single-A and Advanced-A, and owns a 3.42 ERA, 1.151 WHIP, and has struck out 85 in 97.1 innings while allowing eight home runs. He was most recently pitching in Advanced-A for the Salem Red Sox, where he posted a 3.99 ERA and 1.210 WHIP in 11 starts.

Anderson was the 18th-best prospect in the Red Sox system according to, and has a good array of pitches. His fastball sits in the mid-90s, and he complements it with a cutter, slider, changeup, and curveball.

The younger of the two is another right-hander, Gregory Santos, who was pitching with Boston’s Dominican Summer League affiliate. Santos is just 17 years old, and won’t turn 18 until August 28th. In his second season with the organization, Santos has made seven starts and owns a sparkling 0.90 ERA and has allowed 21 hits (no home runs) in 30 innings. Walks have been a bit of an issue for the youngster, as he has issued 41 walks in 71 innings over two years.

Thought Nunez’s time with the Giants in 2017 has drawn to a close, it may not be the end of him wearing orange and black. Nunez has mentioned on more than one occasion that he loved playing for the Giants, and would be willing to return to the team even if he was traded. Giants’ beat writer Henry Schulman gets the sense that Nunez isn’t just being nice, and that the two sides could genuinely reunite.

Next: Giants 3 Up, 3 Down: 4 with Padres

For now, Nunez is heading to a contender for the second straight year for a pennant chase. Best of luck in Beantown, Eduardo!