It never feels right to see a New York Mets player sign with one of the other teams in the National League East. The only exception is when it’s Jeurys Familia and he’s walking batters for the Philadelphia Phillies.
Speaking of the Phillies, they could be a great fit for two of the biggest Mets free agents this offseason. The same goes for the Atlanta Braves. As the Washington Nationals continue to rebuild and the Miami Marlins do whatever is they tend to do, the Braves and Phillies could be in the market to overpay for two guys we have gotten used to playing for the Mets.
Mets free agents Edwin Diaz and Brandon Nimmo could end up with the Braves or Phillies
It’s not inconceivable to imagine either team targeting this pair hard. Diaz is one of the game’s best closers and the same goes for Nimmo as a center field. Each team could have a need at those two spots next year but we might be able to narrow it down a little bit to see which one they might prioritize.
Braves closer Kenley Jensen is signed to only a one-year deal and if he’s not retired after this season, he’ll probably look to end up with another short-term deal with a high salary. He could even end up with the Phillies.
Creating a closer from your bullpen is always a possibility and the Braves certainly have some good relievers who could fit into this role. With younger Phillies reliever Seranthony Dominguez possibly about to do this by next year, I’d have to figure Diaz is a better fit for the Braves.
This leaves Nimmo to sign with Philadelphia. Are you gagging from disgust yet, Mets fans? The Phillies have had center field issues for many years. Unless former first overall pick Mickey Moniak turns his career around in 2022 for the best, signing Nimmo could become an offseason priority for them.
The Braves do already have youngster Michael Harris II as a long-term candidate for center field. The Phillies, behind Moniak and the far more big league experienced Odubel Herrera, don’t really have much in mind. Nor do the Phillies even have a true leadoff hitter. Nimmo would provide them with that.
It’s hard to believe the Mets would let both Diaz and Nimmo sign elsewhere without giving them a competitive offer. Nimmo, in particular, seems like someone who could stay in New York for another round. He is an original Mets draft pick and his replacement isn’t so obvious with Starling Marte fitting in nicely as a right fielder instead. Prospect Alex Ramirez would eventually become a center field candidate but by then left field might be open for Nimmo to slide over as he plays out his contract.
Diaz, on the other hand, is a relief pitcher. They just don’t stick around as long as a position player.
The market in the offseason for both should be deep. The Mets, with all of their might, should try to keep them both. The Braves and Phillies will see how much money they can spend to take them away.
Let's not even dive into the possibility of Jacob deGrom leaving and...we can save that nightmare for another day.