The Toros de Tijuana of the Mexican League announced this afternoon they’ve signed corner infielder Renato Núñez for the 2023 season. It’ll be the first stint in Mexico for the 28-year-old, who played in the majors from 2016-21.
Núñez suited up for four different MLB teams. He’s best known for his time with the Orioles, where he logged over 1000 plate appearances between 2018-20. Núñez popped 31 home runs in 2019 and another 12 longballs during the abbreviated 2020 season, bringing some right-handed power to the organization. That came with fairly modest on-base numbers and a spotty defensive profile, however, and Baltimore cut him loose over the 2020-21 offseason.
The Venezuela native signed with the Tigers for 2021. He only managed a .189/.218/.472 line through 14 contests with Detroit and was twice outrighted off their 40-man roster. A subsequent minor league contract with the Brewers didn’t result in a big league opportunity. Núñez concluded the campaign with a .245/.308/.452 line across 307 career MLB games.
Last offseason, he made the jump to Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball. Núñez signed on with the Nippon-Ham Fighters and split the 2022 season between the top level and their minor league affiliate. He hit well over 31 minor league games but mustered only a .174/.228/.299 line through 63 NPB contests. That proved to be his lone season with the Fighters.
Núñez is now a couple seasons removed from offensive productivity. He’s still relatively young and has some power upside. He’ll try to get back on track in a hitter-friendly environment in the Mexican League.