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Leonel Núñez (born March 15, 1982 in Bonao, Dominican Republic) is a retired pitcher.


Núñez was originally signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates as an undrafted free agent on February 16, 2000. From 2001 to 2004, he was a mainly used as a starting pitcher in the Pirates system. On December 16, 2004, he was traded to the Kansas City Royals for catcher Benito Santiago.

After being traded to the Royals, he was converted to a full-time relief pitcher. He began the 2005 season with the Single-A High Desert Mavericks. He was promoted to the Double-A Wichita Wranglers after posting a 9.00 ERA in eight games. He had his contract purchased by the big league club on May 9, 2005, and made his major league debut on the same day.

Along with teammates Ambiorix Burgos and Andrew Sisco, they were the first trio of rookie pitchers in major league history to throw at least 50.0 innings each without making a start. Núñez finished the 2005 season with a 3-2 record and a 7.55 ERA in 41 games.

In 2006, Núñez played for the Double-A Wranglers, Triple-A Omaha Royals, and at the major league level. He only played in seven major league games in 2006, with a 4.73 ERA.

In 2007, he was converted back into a starting pitcher.

On June 22, 2007, Núñez would have been traded to the Oakland Athletics for outfielder Milton Bradley. However according to the Royals report, Bradley was injured at the time, and the trade was voided.[1]

After the 2008 season, Núñez was traded by the Royals to the Florida Marlins for first baseman Mike Jacobs.[2] In 2009, Nunez became the Marlins closer after Matt Lindstrom was placed on the disabled list in late June. He finished the season with 26 saves.

See also[]


  1. Kaegel, Dick. "Bradley-to-Royals deal voided",, June 22, 2007. Accessed September 10, 2007.
  2. KC acquires power-hitting Jacobs

External links[]