The Red Sox plan to explore a new deal for utilityman Eduardo Nunez after the season, Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald reports. Nunez is currently out with a knee injury, but when healthy, the impending free agent has been a valuable addition since the Red Sox acquired him from the Giants in July. The 30-year-old has slashed an excellent .319/.351/.534 with eight home runs and six steals across 171 plate appearances as a member of the Red Sox, with whom he has lined up at second base, shortstop and third base. Nunez’s future may affect fellow utilityman Brock Holt’s, as Mastrodonato relays that he could be a non-tender candidate in the offseason. Holt was a key piece for the Red Sox from 2014-15, but injuries have slowed his career since then. The 2015 All-Star has taken 140 trips to the plate this season and batted a meek .175/.286/.208. Holt, 29, is on a $1.95MM salary this year and is scheduled to go through arbitration for the second time in the offseason. He’s controllable through 2019.
More from the American League:
- Right-hander Alex Cobb’s start on Saturday may have been his last at Tropicana Field as a member of the Rays, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times writes. As a member of the Rays since they selected him in the fourth round of the 2006 draft, the soon-to-be free agent isn’t ready to close the door on his tenure with the organization. “If it is, man, it would be sad,” Cobb said. “There’s been a lot of memories in this building and through this organization. I don’t really want to think about it yet. There is too much season left to go down that road yet. But it would be a tough thought if that’s it.” One of the most accomplished starters scheduled to hit the market in the offseason, the 29-year-old Cobb will likely price himself out of Tampa Bay. After undergoing Tommy John surgery that shelved him in 2015 and limited him to 22 innings last season, Cobb has revived his career this year with a 3.63 ERA, 6.44 K/9 against 2.23 BB/9, and a 47.7 percent groundball rate in 173 1/3 frames.
- An ankle injury has kept Indians left fielder Michael Brantley out since Aug. 8, and it doesn’t appear he’s going to return anytime soon. President Chris Antonetti said Sunday that the Indians lack clarity on when Brantley could come back, according to Tom Withers of the Associated Press (Twitter link). That’s an unfortunate development for a historically hot Tribe club that recently lost center fielder Bradley Zimmer for the season. Cleveland started longtime second base Jason Kipnis in Zimmer’s place Sunday, with corner outfielders Jay Bruce and Austin Jackson flanking him.
- The Yankees are optimistic outfielder Aaron Hicks and reliever Adam Warren will return before the regular season, per Bryan Hoch of MLB.com. Hicks, on the DL since Sept. 3 with a left oblique strain, will begin taking batting practice soon, manager Joe Girardi said. Warren has also been out since Sept. 3, with lower back spasms. Both players have been among New York’s best this year, but the club has piled up wins without them over the past couple weeks and now looks like a playoff lock.