This Mets contract seems bound to age poorly, but we're happy about it anyway

Feb 17, 2023; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets center fielder Brandon Nimmo (9) watches
Feb 17, 2023; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets center fielder Brandon Nimmo (9) watches / Rich Storry-USA TODAY Sports

When MLB contracts reach a certain number of years, it’s easy to see how poorly they will age. Some are graceful. They age like Tom Brady. Others, meanwhile, quickly look like Dorian Gray spotted his portrait. They shrivel up. Before the deal is even halfway over, there are some regrets. The New York Mets don’t have any single deal we should be too worried about this happening with. One deal does, however, seem destined to ache a little bit extra near the end.

Francisco Lindor’s contract is definitely a candidate for a topic like this. He’ll be getting paid $34.1 million in 2031. When compared to the contracts of shortstops like Trea Turner and Xander Bogaerts, it’s not such a bad thing for the Mets. Those two will be getting paid into their 40s.

A few shorter deals have the potential to look bad, too. Jose Quintana has the potential to be a short-term bust. It can’t really age all that much. So, which Mets contract is most bound to go gray quickest?

The Mets contract most likely to age poorly belongs to Brandon Nimmo

The Mets had to sign Brandon Nimmo this offseason. There is no question about it. The other free agency choices were so far down the ladder you’d need a megaphone to communicate.

Heading into his free agency, fans who knew what he could do were expecting something in the neighborhood north of $100 million. It was a lot of money for a guy with no All-Star appearances, no MVP votes, and a history of missing time.

Nimmo blew those expectations away. He received an 8-year deal worth $162 million.

The deal pays him $18.5 million in 2023 then goes up to $20.5 million for the next seven seasons. It’ll take him through the 2030 season when he’ll play at age 37.

We can already guess what direction his career will go in. Nimmo will give the team more quality years as a center fielder. Eventually, a spot in the corner will be where he plays when he does grab a glove. It’s the route of most center fielders.

Nimmo has been a bit of an anomaly in the way he developed from a left fielder/right fielder to one of the better center fielders in baseball. How long can it last? His tendency to get hurt may play a factor quicker than many of us would like to see.

A fast player who doesn’t steal bases, we won’t see a drop off in those numbers as Nimmo ages. It could still hurt his defense. Running to first base after each walk puts himself in the slightest danger of stepping funny and getting hurt. A part of his game that should age well is his eye at the plate. Still one of the better OBP guys in the league despite a drop in 2022, the latter part of Nimmo’s career could be even more reliant on patience at the plate. We’ve seen him hit for high and low averages in his career. Consistently, he has found ways to get on base. This won’t change unless robot umpires have something to do with it.

This contract could have been saved from aging poorly if it wasn’t so long. It’s hard to imagine Nimmo consistently staying healthy in those final years. He has made it a new priority, exemplified in the spring of 2023 by delaying his start. I do think we’ll get some more and frequent healthy seasons from him in the first half of this contract. The latter part, unfortunately, I fear it’s going to result in much less playing time because of his body naturally breaking down. It’s too bad he wasn’t extended a little earlier with a season or two pulled off the back-end of this deal.

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