Nunez cleared waivers and was assigned outright to Triple-A Norfolk on Tuesday, Roch Kubatko of MASN Sports reports. Nunez didn't make an appearance in Baltimore, and he struck out 12 times in 36 at-bats this season with the Rangers. The 24-year-old has impact power -- he had 55 home runs at Triple-A from 2016 to 2017 -- but he has some refining to do before he is given consistent playing time in the big leagues. Nunez could see a promotion in the coming months, but now that he is off the 40-man roster, he will likely be at Triple-A for a while.
The Orioles claimed Nunez off waivers from the Rangers on Sunday. Baltimore facilitated Nunez's addition to the 40-man roster by transferring Tim Beckham (groin) from the 10-day disabled list to the 60-day DL, but they haven't cleared a spot on the active roster for the new pickup. That's expected to happen ahead of Tuesday's game against the Phillies, as Nunez has no minor-league options remaining and can refuse an assignment to Triple-A Norfolk. The Orioles are short on appealing options at third base and corner outfield, spots where Nunez could slot in and offer some intriguing power. Though he has yet to find much success across brief stints in the big leagues the past three seasons, Nunez was a standout performer in the Pacific Coast League in 2017, smacking 32 home runs and 61 total extra-base hits across 533 plate appearances.
Nunez was designated for assignment by the Rangers on Friday. In order to make room for Rougned Odor (hamstring), Nunez was cast off the active roster and will be subject to waivers unless the Rangers find a trade partner for him in the coming days. Nunez appeared in 13 games for the big-league club this season, hitting just .167/.244/.278 with two extra-base hits and two RBI in 36 at-bats. The 24-year-old hasn't done much during a few brief opportunities in the majors over the past few years, but there will likely be a few teams willing to take a chance on him.
Nunez went 1-for-3 with a solo home run in Sunday's 7-2 loss to the Blue Jays. Nunez took J.A. Happ really deep in the second inning to give the Rangers a 1-0 lead. It was the first home run of the season for the 24-year-old, who has three hits in 19 at-bats (.238) since joining Texas. He'll stick around for as along as Adrian Beltre (hamstring) is out and could be of some use if he can tap into the power stroke he showed in the minors. He has a career total of 130 homers in 701 minor-league games, including 55 over the last two seasons at the Triple-A level.
Nunez is not in the lineup for Monday's game against the Athletics. Nunez will take a seat for the third time in seven games since being activated from the disabled list last week. The 24-year-old is hitting just .154/.214/.231 in 14 big-league plate appearances this season, so he'll need to pick things up at the dish if he wants to continue to see semi-regular at-bats with the big club. In the meantime, Joey Gallo will start in left field Monday, opening up a spot for fellow prospect Ronald Guzman to start at first base.