Brandon Nimmo has gone from a guy some fans for whatever reason thought was a fourth outfielder to a guy who is a must keep for the New York Mets. The Mets struggle to score when he is not in the lineup as he is a guy who can consistently be relied upon to get on base and start a rally.
Nimmo is a free agent at the end of the season so it would behoove the Mets to try and lock Nimmo up Nimmo made $4.7 million dollars this season and is projected to earn $6 million dollars according to mlbtraderumors.com.
In 92 games Nimmo slashed .292/.401/.437 with eight home runs and 28 RBI. Nimmo improved drastically as a defender in center field and as a base runner. His 3.5 fWAR was tied for second on the Mets despite only playing in 92 games.
The 92 games played this season unfortunately has been close to the norm for Nimmo. He has played over 100 games just once in his six-year career, back in 2018 when he played 140 games. The 92 games played were actually Nimmo's second-highest mark which is a huge issue.
Even with the durability issues being a huge red flag, the Mets must extend Brandon Nimmo.
This offseason, the Mets signed Starling Marte who will presumably be the everyday center fielder. This means Nimmo will move to either left or right field with Mark Canha likely playing the corner which Nimmo does not.
I believe this is good for multiple reasons. First, Nimmo is a better corner outfielder than center fielder. Second, Nimmo will likely have a better shot at staying healthy by not having to move as much as a center fielder would.
In terms of a contract, it's tricky. Nimmo is a star when he plays. He's a guy who gets on base at an elite clip, has a lot of speed, hits for some sneaky power, and really improved defensively. However, he doesn't play enough to warrant a contract that he would earn if he did.
The Mets would be wise to extend Nimmo and bank on him finally figuring it out and staying healthy. Pat Ragazzo of si.com predicted Nimmo signs a 7-year $125 million-dollar deal. I believe the Mets can get a better deal than that.
Byron Buxton is in a very similar boat as Nimmo. He's a guy who has only one season of 100+ games but is elite when he's on the diamond. This season he hit 19 home runs in just 61 games, slashing .308/.358/.647. I'd say he's a better player than Nimmo yet he signed a deal for seven years $100 million dollars.
I believe the Mets can get Nimmo for a shorter-term deal with a similar AAV. Something like 5/75 or a longer-term deal with less AAV. It really doesn't make sense for Nimmo to be worth more than Buxton as they're the same age and both can't stay healthy.
This is Nimmo's best chance at signing a long-term deal with a lot of security as if he enters free agency after another injury-riddled season I don't see it being very likely he gets more than a two or three year deal.
The Mets need Nimmo and Nimmo needs the Mets. It makes too much sense. Get it done.