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Nunez era ends

4/1/2014

HOUSTON -- At one point, the Yankees thought Eduardo Nunez could be Derek Jeter's successor. At another, he could have been the one piece to complete a Cliff Lee trade in 2010.

On Opening Day 2014, Nunez was designated for assignment, which essentially means his Yankees career is over. Nunez, 26, will either be traded or waived in the next seven to 10 days.

"He possesses a great deal of talent," GM Brian Cashman said. "You can dream on him. We have, as a potential everyday shortstop. All that talent is still there."

The Yankees needed to open a spot on the 40-man roster to make room for Yangervis Solarte. With Brendan Ryan out with what is now described as a cervical spine nerve injury, the team felt more comfortable with Solarte's versatility, deeming him a better choice than Nunez at second. The team thought Dean Anna was a superior backup to Jeter.

Nunez's days with the Yankees appeared to be numbered as early as this past December. The Yankees only had a utility role for him, and the club had already decided in previous years he was not versatile enough.

Coming up through the minors, the Yankees played Nunez almost exclusively at shortstop because they envisioned him as a potential everyday player there one day.

Instead, he will mostly be remembered for his inability to keep his helmet on his head and an assorted amount of miscues. As Cashman pointed out, with a new uniform on, Nunez might be able to reach more of his potential.

RALLYING CRY: Joe Girardi and Cashman have been repeatedly asked if they should make like Ronald Reagan and "Win one for the Jeter." They both keep responding that the Yankees try to win every year.

"Jeter would be offended," Cashman said.

RYAN STILL HURTING: While the Yankees DFA'd Nunez, Ryan is not close to coming back, according to Girardi.

NO. 26: Solarte even took Nunez's old number, 26.