Mets Handling of Brandon Nimmo Is Inept

In what was really a disheartening 2017 season for the Mets, Brandon Nimmoemerged as a bright spot for the franchise.

The 2011 first round pick, the first one of the Sandy Alderson Era, proved he belonged in the Major Leagues. With him hitting .260/.379/.418 in 69 games, he slowed he could potentially be more than that.

That makes how the Mets have handled him this offseason all the more baffling.

As the offseason began, Nimmo’s name was never truly promoted as a possibility as a starter in center. Sure, there are those who question whether he could truly handle the position in the majors, but the fact remains he played 456 games in center in the minors as opposed to just 92 games in the corners.

Ideally, Nimmo was the perfect platoon partner with an injury prone and defensive wizard Juan Lagares, who appeared to be the early favorite to be the everyday center fielder.

This became somewhat of a moot point when the Mets signed both Jay Bruceand Adrian Gonzalez. With both players in the fold to at least start the 2018 season, this means Michael Confortowill be the center fielder when he returns from his shoulder injury.

Considering Bruce and Yoenis Cespedes are each signed through the 2021 season, Cespedes-Conforto-Bruce should be the outfield alignment over the next three seasons.

This begs the question about where this leaves Nimmo.

Well, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, it could have left Nimmo in Pittsburgh.

First, the Pirates reportedly wanted Nimmo in exchange for former MVP and impending free agent Andrew McCutchen.

With McCutchen averaging a -22 DRS in center the past two years, dropping from a 21.5 WAR player from 2012 – 2014 to a 6.7 WAR the past three years, and his impending free agency, you understand the Mets thought process.

Another consideration is the Mets believe the Pirates could accept Nimmo as a centerpiece for Josh Harrison. Harrison is a versatile player who can handle second, is owed $10.25 million with two succeeding team options, and has asked the Pirates for a trade.

Considering there’s no path for Nimmo to become a regular on the Mets for three years, it would appear moving him for Harrison or another player would make a ton of sense. That goes double when you consider the Mets have a huge hole at second, and the free agent options are quite poor.

But no, the Mets are hesitating on trading Nimmo at all. They not only still believe Nimmo could be a good player for them, but the team is hesitant to trade away good young talent from their depleted farm system.

Even if you take the Mets at face value they see a future for Nimmo, that future is not for another three years. By that time, he will have exhausted all of his options, be 27 years old, and a year away from free agency.

In the end, the Mets are keeping Nimmo in a misguided attempt to hold onto an asset for its own sake. They would rather have him stapled to their own bench than let him potentially thrive somewhere else. That decision isn’t helping Nimmo, and it isn’t helping the Mets.

It really makes you question whether the real reason the Mets won’t trade him is they’re really afraid of looking bad by watching him thrive elsewhere. Why else would the Mets simultaneously refuse to trade him and block his path to playing time?

7 thoughts on “Mets Handling of Brandon Nimmo Is Inept”

  1. Luis says:

    I did not like the re signing of Cespedes, as I thought that cut down on the chance for Conforto to play every day, but Lagares’ injury allowed Conforto to get the playing time that showed what he can become. I thought a Lagares/Nimmo platoon in CF would be a very good combination. Now with Bruce back, we are older, the defense is not improved, and in all likelihood, the Mets will play a Gonzales/Bruce combo at 1st too often, thus hampering Smith’s development. I have been a Mets Fan since 1969, and this franchise has seldom made very good decisions re personnel…quite frustrating

    1. metsdaddy says:

      I think your comment is pretty spot on

  2. Gothamist says:

    I was practically at Citifield for the drafting of Brandon Nimmo.
    I followed his scouting and development in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017

    Drafted at 17 from Wyoming where he not only started late in baseball but there was no High School team

    He played in Babe Ruth leagues in his first real competitive baseball experience

    When he was drafted by the Mets the scouting said and was universally seen as potentially a seven year project and high upside, high risk and though they saw much to be confident he could develop power to hit twenty home runs it was almost a crapshoot on his power potential.

    He was drafted for CF and practically five tools but HR production would be the Wildcard. They never envisioned him to prefer to walk, have a dreadful start when he would be 23, hit very few HRs and his best role and success was at 22 as a PH.

    Well the power really never developed, though he logged huge innings in CF 2011 thru 2014 by the time he was starting in Binghamton (AA for those how spend ten minutes at most following Met prospects) he by AAA was almost exclusively being groomed for anything but CF and as well as he hit for average in the worse place to get a true reading on MLB hitting potential being Las Vegas but AS A MAJOR DOWNER the started 2017 he in a slump of epic proportions at LV. With an injury he went back to A then AA then back to AAA in 2017 to get back to where he was in 2016.

    Playing for a desperate Terry Collins in the last quarter of 2017 season was what you call inept then I can agree with you.

    I heard rumors that Sabdybtrying to package Nimmo in late season deals as early as 2015.

    I saw 2017 as an initial huge loss of confidence at LV, I saw there was a need to reverse that, develop more confidence against lefties, continue to be a great OBP guy, great contact guy in late innings but be less selective and far less content in drawing walks especially where he hardly stole a base.

    I do not see any reason to start him in a platoon until he stops Walk first and demonstrates before he is 26 that he have a decent slugging percentage.

    I would like for him to exhsust himself learning how to steal, hit lefties better, hit for more power, get more confidence and repetitions in RF where he has to throw to third or home and NOT BE FOCUSED on CF until he could first get over the hump of the FOUR OTHERS THINGS FIRST….

    I really like he enthusiasm, I find him hugely likable, easy going, mature and I really that he can become a biable fourth outfielder this year, hit righties, throw out players trying to advance for five plus outfield assists and by 2019, at 25 be our starting platoon, back up CFer if not full timer….

    The walk preference at times looks bizarre…

    Lets go Nimmo!!!

    1. metsdaddy says:

      The issue with Nimmo is the knee injuries. It has cost him some speed and some power. It has limited his ceiling.

      To his credit, Nimmo has adapted offensively becoming a lead off type hitter. He’s made himself a Major League caliber player. What he is in the majors remains to be seen.

      1. Five Tool Ownership says:

        Sounds like a lead off without an aggressive mind set to get to third.
        New type of player? I WOULD SAY AGAINST A TWO HITTER IN THE SEVENTH TO RATTLE THE PITCHER… Yet as a starter or platooner?
        GRADE II?
        I tore my ACL and many NFLers do achieve previous speed.
        Many things TC did w non stars was INEPT infact w everyone not a star as INEPT. But for today anything TC did is meaningless to say the ORGANIZATION was inept.

      2. Gothamist says:

        I quess a grade two sprain of the ACL can create permanent damage in the joint.

        I did not check of the 2015 and 2017 knee injuries were same knee or if 2015 was also a Grade II ACL sprain.

        Yet, he was always selective and outside of one year he seldom ever showed power.

        Before and after 2015 he did max at 75% of successful SB attempts yet I see him as capable of learning the craft to max out ‘whatever he has left.’

        If he does indeed have average speed, below average power, poor record of outfield assists, below average SFs if not bunting skills I am afraid there must be some kind of evolution!

        I maybe that the Mets are sentimental bring he was Sandy’s first pick and outside of Dom Smith, Fulmer, Matt Reynolds, Gavin Cecchini etc… how many picks from 2011 are on MLB rosters?

        1. metsdaddy says:

          I didn’t say Nimmo has average speed or below average power.

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