The Orioles are designating infielder Renato Núñez for assignment, per various reporters (including Joe Trezza of MLB.com). Baltimore is also adding six players to the 40-man roster in advance of tonight’s deadline to protect players from the Rule 5 draft: infielder Rylan Bannon, outfielder Yusniel Diaz, right-handers Michael Baumann and Isaac Mattson and left-handers Zac Lowther and Alexander Wells.
Some may be surprised to see the Orioles letting go of Núñez. The 26-year-old has been an everyday player for Baltimore over the past two seasons, slugging .469 and hitting 43 home runs in 815 plate appearances. However, as MLBTR’s Steve Adams explored at length in previewing the Orioles’ offseason, Núñez indeed looked like a potential non-tender candidate. Núnez’s relatively low walk rates have led to a lackluster .314 on-base percentage over the past two years. He’s not well-regarded as a defender at third base, either. Overall, he’s only been worth around one win above replacement the past two seasons combined in the estimation of both FanGraphs and Baseball Reference.
Evidently, Baltimore decided Núñez’s on-base and defensive deficiencies outweighed the power potential he brings, particularly as he enters arbitration for the first time. Núñez is projected for a salary in the $2.1MM – $3.9MM range this offseason, and the Orioles were clearly prepared to non-tender him prior to the December 2 deadline. With that settled, there’s little reason to keep Núñez on the 40-man roster beyond today’s Rule 5 protection deadline.
It’s still possible the O’s find a trade partner involving Núñez in the coming days. He does have some appeal as a potential 1B/DH option and hit better in 2020 than he had in 2019. If another team were to acquire Núñez, they could control him through arbitration for the next four seasons.
Zac Lowther LHP from Xavier, remember his name. He is going to be good, really good.
Yep, as will be several others on the O’s system right now.
We will never know, but if Covid didn’t exist.. Was this where we would have said goodbye to Chris Davis?
If trey didn’t get diagnosed with cancer he would have been gone.
Assuming they had all that information before the Utah Jazz players tested positive. Covid helped shave off 60%+ of Davis contract. If the O’s would have cut him in February they would have been on the hook for the whole 2020 salary. The only way your assumption makes sense is if they were planning to cut Davis towards the latter part of spring training, while he was in the midst of OPS’ing 1+
They designated their DH??? I’m so confused. He’s a guy who can hit 30 homers and have a BA hovering around .240. I don’t get it.
They’ve given him some shots at 3B over the last 3 seasons. Their assessment is that he could not handle it. They have Davis/Mancini/Mountcastle/Nunez for 2 spots. There is also a possibility that Nunez being tenered a contract and then cut, would cost more than Davis’s 2021 salary… what a world.
Mancini won’t play unless he is healthy and if he’s healthy he will be in right field. Mountcastle can play around the diamond. And Davis will play first and dh when he does play. So no, there wouldn’t be 4 guys for 2 positions.
And nunes was pre-arbitration still. No way tendering and cutting he would make a small segment of Davis
Naw, he was up for arb this year. “Elias said the decision was made to not go to arbitration with Nunez, so they made the DFA move today. They could potentially still trade him.” per @masnSteve
Don’t take offense to this, but you clearly do not know what you are talking about.
For starters the outfield at a minimum includes Santander/Hays/Mullins/Stewart, not to mention Diaz and possibly Mancini and Mountcastle (which is not preferable).
That leaves 1B/DH for Mancini/Mountcastle/Davis/Nunez.
Nunez was entering Arb1, with some nice counting stats. If covid cancels games, then Davis contract gets shrunk by that much. Wasn’t likely but it is a possibility… almost like your 2020 $$$ Winner Giants star Zack Cozart.
They don’t want Mancini in right. They have Mullins, Hays, Stewart, Mountcastle in outfield. They want Mancini at first. That means at least 3 guys between 1st and DH with Davis, Mancini, Nunez. Not to mention they like to have Sisco dh to get him at bats when Severino is catching. Nunez was the odd man out since they can’t cut Davis.
Well I’m fairly sure Mancini will see some action in LF as well.
Mancini in RF? WTH?
Mullins, Hays, Stewart, Mountcastle, Santander, Diaz*
He is frustrating plus he is a butcher in the field
Someone will give him a chance but I doubt the O’s take him back
He can’t play defense, he doesn’t get on base, and the O’s are looking at Mancini, Mountcastle, Santander, Hays, and Mullins for 3 OF spots, a 1B spot and a DH spot with Diaz expected to get a call up midseason and still looking for some at bats for Stewart. All of those guys (with the exception of Stewart) are better than Nunez and all except Mancini are cheaper.
I have to laugh. What Oriole does get on base? Only Iglesias, Mountcastle, Sisco, Stewart, and Hayes had a greater OBP than Nunez and only one (Stewart) had more walks than Nunez.
Mancini > Nunez. With Mancini back, there’s no point to Nunez. Nunez can’t play any other position either so even though Alberto, Santander, and Ruiz had lower OBP, it isn’t as if he can replace them.
Dude had an OPS over 800 last year. Would be a good player to slot at 3rd next year
You’ve never seen him play 3B then
He makes Devers look like a gold glover.
I got to believe that the Brewers will bring him in on a minor league deal with a chance to win a job
seems like just yesterday Gary Thorne had him being 1st ballot.
Yes. Brewers should pick him up. Perfect fit.
I was thinking the Brewers right when I saw it.
If as a Royals fan the choice (hypothetically) comes down to Jorge Soler who at 28 years of age, only one season of control left, and a projected 8-9 million dollar salary or Renato Nunez who’s 2 years younger, 4 years of control left, and making only around 3 mil for this year, I’m trying to find a suitor for Soler & while trying to acquire Nunez for DH.
Why not Chris Davis? I get it, he’s sunk cost, but come on…
If MLB doesn’t play a full season next year, then that’s money they don’t have to pay to Davis. If they end up starting the season on time and looking to play all 162, then I expect Davis to be cut before spring training is over.
So long Zach Pop, someone’s getting a steal with him. The only real piece from the Machado trade.
Def a concern he could get taken but unlikely based on recovery from TJ
“The only real piece from the Machado trade.”
Kremer and Diaz said hi. Diaz has been hurt often since the trade of course, but Kremer flashed well in summer camp and then in his cup of tea in MLB.
LOL yeah I guess Dean Kremer, Diaz, and Bannon are awful eh?
Nunez was right choice. He can go on massive streaks of hitting homers but it’s really his only contribution. It was down to him, DJ Stewart, or Chris Davis. DJ cheaper and still has upside. They won’t cut Davis when they still have to pay him.
Worried about losing Sedlock
Why you worried about sedlock? Not being a smart Alec or critical of you…. just wondering?
Funny you have to preface nowadays not to offend, even with a legit question. I don’t think he will get taken but it seems teams tend to favor pitchers to stash in bullpen and Sedlock is a former first round pick with upside. He’s battled injuries but finished 2019 well and was even moved to AA. Seems like kinda guy Os would take and try to stash in bullpen, especially with expanded rosters now. He was passed on last year so hoping so again
Wouldnt mind seeing the cards sign Nunez. Cards need some pop from the dh, if it’s still in the NL next year. Then we might be able to dump fowler or carp somewhere
Welcome to the Royals, Pirates, Mariners…someone will sign a young power hitter.
Why is it that for one player, these same numbers are referred to as decent or even good, but another player as suspect or even bad? An .800 ops is argued for some players and criticized for others. Below average defenders are praised or encouraged because of the DH and criticized by others for their defensive limitations.
Nunez is still young and produces runs in the middle of the lineup. Don’t players like that typically ink BIG contracts?
Stick Nunez in a lineup with actual major league hitters around and take what you get defensively. That’s why you have a manager, a full roster, substitutions and a big binder filled with a plethora of statistics.
He’s a decent bat but the Orioles just don’t have anywhere to play him regularly. I’d imagine they will want Mancini to get a lot of bats at 1st and Dh. DJ Stewart is terrible in outfield so he’s better at DH. Hyde likes to put Sisco at DH sometimes when Severino is catching. And of course, they still have Davis clogging lineup
He had a .800 OPS 1 time. He plays 0 positions well. He’s a logjam, especially with Mancini back and Mountcastle around as well.
Why does people put Stewart into this equation? I seen him play several times this year. He can not hit the broad side of a barn. He strikes out like every bat. Stewart is a bust.
If Trey is healthy him and mountcastle will share the OF and 1B.
Big mistake on cutting Nunez.
Because Stewart is still on the 40 man, and the minors are probably out of the question for him. They still must like what they see in Stewart, especially since they used another spot for Diaz. The fact of the matter is, they still see some value and as long as he’s on the roster he is part of the equation.
MLB needs to determine the DH situation in the NL. This is a kid whose market would grow based on that because a lot of teams would love that young power.
If the DH is here for 2021, Marlins should grab Nunez.