Giants land All-Star Nunez in deal with Twins

Giants land All-Star Nunez in deal with Twins

SAN FRANCISCO -- The San Francisco Giants acquired infielder Eduardo Nunez from the Minnesota Twins on Thursday night in exchange for Minor League pitching prospect Adalberto Mejia.

Nunez, who was selected to the 2016 All-Star Game, is batting .300 with 47 RBIs. The 29-year-old veteran of seven big league seasons will provide the Giants with experience they've lacked in the infield recently because of injuries to second baseman Joe Panik and third baseman Matt Duffy.

"We've seen the need for depth in our infield," Giants general manager Bobby Evans said of Nunez. "To have a guy that has his experience, and is off to a good start this season, we just feel like he can help us cover the tracks as we get Duffy and Panik back."

Nunez on being traded to Giants

Panik returned from the disabled list on Thursday night against the Nationals, but Duffy continues to rehabilitate from a left Achilles injury that has kept him on the DL since June 20. Given the time both have missed, Evans said the Giants felt they needed an additional option.

"It'll just be as we would use any utility infield help," said Evans, adding that Duffy will remain the starting third baseman when he returns. "The added value of [Nunez's] speed, experience and bat gives us some versatility."

Nunez, who will be a free agent after the season, was leading the American League with 26 stolen bases and will clearly give the Giants speed they haven't had this year. He can play at third base, shortstop or second.

Nunez traded to the Giants

Mejia was ranked as the Giants' No. 7 prospect by MLB Pipeline. The left-hander has a 2.81 ERA in 18 combined starts for Double-A Richmond and Triple-A Sacramento and was one of two players to represent the Giants in the 2016 SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game.

"We're proud of what Mejia has done, to see him go is hard," said Evans. "We knew that as we got into this Deadline we were going to be asked for some heavy costs. It wasn't a surprise that he was asked about quite a bit."

As Monday's Trade Deadline approaches, Evans and the Giants will now focus primarily on improving the big league pitching staff, with an emphasis on the bullpen in particular.

"We'll stay open-minded on everything, but the bullpen has been our focus," said Evans.

Zinkie on Nunez to the Giants

Fantasy spin | Fred Zinkie (@FredZinkieMLB)
Hitting .296 with 12 homers and 27 steals across 396 plate appearances this season, Nunez has risen from waiver-wire fodder to mixed-league difference-maker. Likely to serve as the Giants' starting third baseman with Matt Duffy on the disabled list (left Achilles strain), the 29-year-old Nunez should continue to populate shallow-league lineups in the coming days. But upon Duffy's return -- possibly by mid-August -- Nunez may see his playing time diminish and fantasy value limited to deeper formats.

Justin Wise is a reporter for MLB.com based in the Bay Area. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.