Not every deal is a blockbuster. This time of year, they don’t have to be.

On Monday, Boston acquired reliever Addison Reed from the Mets for three minor league pitchers, trying to bolster a bullpen that gave up four runs in the eighth inning Sunday afternoon as the Red Sox blew a 3-1 lead to fall to 8-13 in their last 21 games.

Three days earlier, newcomer Eduardo Nunez was introduced to the home clubhouse at Fenway Park. The Red Sox traded for Nunez earlier in the week, sending a pair of minor-league arms to San Francisco in exchange for the 30-year old utility man.

By the end of the weekend, Nunez was a fan favorite.

He had two hits in his Red Sox debut Friday, and followed that with two homers in an extra-inning win Saturday. When the weekend was over, he had gone 5 for 12 in three games against the Royals.

In the clubhouse, Nunez flashed his contagious smile to reporters who asked about his journey to Fenway Park. He has an infectious personality and a truckload of energy, traits that will come in handy for a team that has struggled to score runs and win games since the All-Star break.

Nunez joined a team answering questions about clubhouse leadership in the wake of an incident between David Price and analyst Dennis Eckersley on a team flight. The incident has lingered for weeks, with Price and Dustin Pedroia answering questions about the makeup of this clubhouse as recently as this weekend.

While all that was going on, Nunez was doing more than just smiling. He was hitting.

He capped Saturday’s game by driving in the winning run on a groundout in the 10th inning, the second walk-off RBI of his career. The first came less than two weeks ago against Cleveland, making him the first player with walk-off RBI for two different teams in such a short period since 1989.

Utility infield/outfield types don’t usually electrify a fan base. Nunez might be different. In addition to hitting, he was able to start at second base while Pedroia was taking time off with a sore knee. He will also spend time at his natural position, shortstop, if Xander Bogaerts shows signs of tiring as he did late last season.

Nunez is expected to spend most of his time at third base, but that might change as Rafael Devers continues to show that he is a 10-year veteran trapped in the body of a 20-year old.

Devers hit his second home run Sunday, following up on the homer he hit in Seattle on Wednesday for his first major league hit. He is the youngest Sox hitter to homer since Tony Conigliaro in 1965.

The combination of Devers and Nunez brought a breath of fresh air to a clubhouse that desperately needed it.

As the clock ticked toward Monday afternoon’s non-waiver trade deadline, Red Sox President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski had to decide if that was enough. Dombrowski has a reputation as an executive who likes to shake up a club with a big trade, but it was clear he still believes the team has enough talent to finish off a stretch run.

The Yankees, sensing an opportunity to put together a run and challenge the Sox in the AL East, added Jaime Garcia to add to their rotation Saturday. This came after an earlier trade acquiring third baseman Todd Frazier and two relievers to stabilize a struggling bullpen. Fortified, the Yankees reeled off eight wins in 10 games leading up to the trade deadline.

They reclaimed first place in the process, and reminded the Red Sox that this is going to be a battle to the wire.

Yankees GM Brian Cashman then added starting pitcher Sonny Gray from Oakland just before Monday’s deadline.

As for Boston, Nunez – and Devers – seem ready to help. Neither player came in a blockbuster deal. Yet both were important additions to a roster built to contend for a title now.

Tom Caron is a studio host for the Red Sox broadcast on NESN. His column appears in the Portland Press Herald on Tuesdays.

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