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Cleveland Indians trade rumors: Steve Pearce, Eduardo Nunez appear to be targets

One has a wRC+ of 147, the other is an All-Star third baseman. Technically.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

According to MLB Trade Rumors, the Cleveland Indians are showing interest in Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Steve Pearce as well as Minnesota Twins third baseman Eduardo Nunez. The Indians were interested in Steve Pearce during the offseason, but interest in Eduardo Nunez is certainly new.

Pearce was signed by the Rays to a one-year, $4.8 million prior to the season as they hoped to patch together some kind of winning team. That has not happened and now the Rays appear to be hard sellers at the deadline, which includes their rental outfielder. Pearce has an insane slash of .312/.384/.528 (147 wRC+) right now, and his BABIP is not even really that high at .342. The 33-year-old has played a mix of infield and outfield in his career and he has been at least passable at both positions. But he has mostly been limited to left field with the Rays this season -- he has only 12 innings at the hot corner this year.

Conversely, Eduardo Nunez is a pretty strict infielder, and would likely be a replacement for Juan Uribe at third base. Nunez will be entering Arbitration 3 next season so he could potentially buy the Indians another year of letting Yandy Diaz develop in Triple-A if they feel he needs it. Nunez was the Twins' sole representative at the 2016 All-Star game. He is slashing .300/.326/.444 with a career-high 12 home runs this season.

After apparently missing out on Aroldis Chapman, it looks like the Indians may be targeting smaller parts to improve their team, which I am all for. I would still prefer a bullpen arm at this point, but if Pearce or Nunez can be had without selling the farm, they would each be an upgrade over Juan Uribe. Trading for Pearce would allow Jose Ramirez to slide into third base full time, while Nunez could slot right into third base.