Retaining a player who thrived last year during a partial season in Boston, the Red Sox re-signed free agent infielder Eduardo Nunez on Sunday.
According to multiple media outlets, Nunez received a one-year deal with an option for 2019. He will make $4 million guaranteed in 2018, and the 2019 contract is worth $4 million or a $2 million buyout. He also could make up to $2 million in incentives tied to plate appearances over both seasons.
Nunez could open the season at first base for Boson as Dustin Pedroia recovers from knee surgery.
Nunez, 30, missed the bulk of September with the Red Sox because of a sprained right posterior cruciate ligament. He returned for the postseason, only to get carried off the field after reinjuring his right knee during his first at-bat in Game 1 of the American League Division Series against the Houston Astros.
Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski told reporters that the team put Nunez through a complete physical and an all-day practice session before finalizing his contract.
"We feel comfortable that he's 100 percent ready to go and we're absolutely thrilled that he's with us because he's a good player," Dombrowski said. "They measured his legs, the differences in his legs, his right versus his left. Did hopping on one foot. With that type of injury, it's very important to handle that, if it's healed properly. He did that.
"He did some stretching exercises. Then he went on the back field and took ground balls at short. Took ground balls at second bending down. He hit live. He ran the bases. He slid and dove back to bases and felt great. Had no pain."
Nunez joked of the workout, "They almost killed me. They gave me a lot of stealing bases, running, hitting, groundballs, diving, everything, and I passed it. ...
"I'm very excited to be back. I really enjoyed the time last year here, and I think it's a nice opportunity to win this year."
The Red Sox acquired Nunez from the San Francisco Giants on July 25, 2017. He wound up being a valuable addition for Boston, hitting .321 with eight home runs, six stolen bases and 27 RBIs in 38 games down the stretch.
Overall, Nunez batted .313 with 12 home runs, 24 stolen bases and 58 RBIs last year.
"We'll see how the roster shapes up, but he's a guy who's going to get at-bats," new Red Sox manager Alex Cora said, according to the Boston Herald. "He's capable of being a good second baseman, third baseman, shortstop, he can play the outfield. He's going to give me some options, which is great, especially early in the season when we start off with playing in Tropicana Field then going to the National League.
"He's a guy who's going to help us early in the season, (and) he's going to impact this team in a positive way."
Boston cleared a spot for Nunez on the 40-man roster by designating right-handed reliever Ben Taylor for assignment. Taylor, 25, made 14 appearances for the Red Sox last year, going 0-1 with a 5.19 ERA. He had no decisions, two saves and a 2.70 ERA in 12 outings for Triple-A Pawtucket in 2017.
--Field Level Media