When Scott Rolen went down for the Cardinals last season, it was an opportunity for Abraham Nunez to step up. Nunez provided the Cards with more than they might have thought they would get from him on an everyday basis and since he was headed for free agency, he picked just the right time to do it.
The 29 year old Nunez set career highs in almost every offensive category, playing in 139 games for the Cardinals, hitting .285 with five homeruns and 44 RBI. The numbers were good enough to get Nunez a two-year, $3.35 million contract with an option for 2008 at the discretion of the Phillies.
Nunez could serve as insurance against another off season from third baseman David Bell or give the Phillies the flexibility to deal Bell if they can find a taker. Bell put up strong numbers against left-handers in 2005, but struggled against righties. Throughout his career though, Nunez, who is a switch-hitter, hasn't been much better against right-handers than he has left-handers. In fact, over the last four seasons, Nunez has hit .276 against lefties and .268 against righties.
Nunez will likely wind up playing the role that Ramon Martinez held late last season with the Phillies. Martinez filed for free agency and has yet to sign with another club.