Mets Only Option Is Re-Signing Brandon Nimmo
We can dicker over which one of the New York Mets free agents is the most pressing. Honestly, when looking at it, Jacob deGrom is an absolute necessity. Same goes for Edwin Diaz. And yes, that also applies to Brandon Nimmo.
There are some who may want to disagree, but that’s not surprising. After all, no matter how productive Nimmo is atop the lineup or how much he improves defensively, he will forever have naysayers. To them, the question is if not Nimmo, then who?
Looking at the MLB free agents, Nimmo is far and away the best center fielder. In fact, he is the only everyday center fielder. Sure, you can say it’s Aaron Judge, who is a far superior players, but Judge is really a right fielder and will be so next season.
After Nimmo and Judge, who are you taking? Lorenzo Cain? A Kevin Pillar or Albert Almora reunion? Really, the center field free agent market is that sparse.
You could argue the Mets can shift Starling Marte back to center, but that may not be the best idea for a 34 year old who has trouble staying on the field. It should also be noted he was again slower in 2022. Yes, part of that was his leg injury. However, again, injuries are an issue for him, which is why the Mets moved him to right field in the first place.
There’s also the matter of just how good Nimmo is. In fact, Nimmo was the best center fielder by WAR in 2022 (again, assuming Judge moves back to right field as will all further points). His wRC+ was second only to Julio Rodriguez. He was tied for 11th in OAA. What’s scary about this is we can all agree this was somewhat of a down year offensively for Nimmo.
Consider that for a moment, despite a relative down year, Nimmo was the best at his position in 2022. He is a prototypical lead-off hitter. He continues to improve in the field year-in and year-out. He is a fan favorite. He is the best and really only available at his position this offseason.
Going back to Rodriguez for a second, the Mets don’t have a real center field prospect in the pipeline. Really, they don’t have any outfield prospects close to the majors. When it comes to the Mets, their only option is Nimmo.
If this were the Wilpons, Nimmo would be as good as gone. However, this is Steve Cohen’s Mets. Scott Boras or no Scott Boras, Cohen has the ability to make sure Nimmo stays with the Mets. Surveying the landscape, the Mets have no other choice than to make it happen. Brandon Nimmo needs to stay with the Mets.