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Why Ryan will likely play over Nunez

The Yankees had considered acquiring defensive ace Brendan Ryan since June. They discussed it before the trade deadline in late July and prior to September when acquired players are still eligible for the postseason. They were never close to a deal.

Brendan Ryan

Brendan Ryan

#0 SS
New York Yankees

2013 STATS

  • GM87
  • HR3

  • RBI21

  • R23

  • OBP.254

  • AVG.192

On Tuesday night, they completed a trade for the slick fielding, light hitting shortstop.

The problem was that they didn't know how badly Derek Jeter was hurt, and the cost from Seattle wasn't worth it to them yet. Now, Jeter is indefinitely day-to-day, meaning the Yankees feel like they need to solidify the position in his absence.

Ryan is probably going to get more of the starts than Eduardo Nunez. The Yankees feel they need someone to make all the plays on defense.

"It is tough to find someone better than Ryan defensively," a scout said.

Ryan can't hit, but Nunez is deceptively unproductive at the plate. While it feels like Nunez is, or at least could be, explosive with a bat, his OPS is only .666. Ryan's OPS is .519.

So while Ryan is a non-factor with a bat, Nunez is not as big of a factor as he often is assumed to be. Thus, Ryan is likely to start more.

When Nunez starts or if Jeter returns, Ryan will be a late-inning defensive replacement.