How deep does the mutual respect between Steve Cohen and Hal Steinbrenner go? According to the latest New York Mets rumors, it may stop at not getting into a bidding war with each other over Jacob deGrom or Aaron Judge.
As Jon Heyman of the NY Post notes, Brandon Nimmo is expected to meet with the New York Yankees before the Winter Meetings are through. The Mets aren’t going to let this happen without also checking in on a notable Yankees free agent, pitcher Jameson Taillon.
Both clubs do have contingency plans in place if they were to lose their free agent. Nimmo would probably be replaced in center field with Starling Marte. Previous Mets rumors have pointed toward them showing interest in Andrew Benintendi. As for the Yankees, they could march into 2023 without making another addition to their rotation to replace Taillon.
Mets rumors suggest a possible swap with the Yankees in free agency
Nimmo isn’t just Aaron Judge insurance for the Yankees. A center fielder, he’s someone who could end up even moving to left field with Harrison Bader on the Yankees roster. Bringing back Judge would help give them one of the best defensive outfields in the game. They’d have two corner outfielders fully capable of handling center field regardless of who they put into left field.
For the Mets side of things, Taillon can be viewed as a replacement for Chris Bassitt or Taijuan Walker—take your pick. The team’s rotation is three “knowns” deep. Max Scherzer, Carlos Carrasco, and newcomer Justin Verlander are guaranteed to make the rotation. It’s probably going to be David Peterson or Tylor Megill to finish it off.
Taillon has been the subject of Mets rumors even before the MLB Winter Meetings began. We know he can handle New York which is often a fear for some fans when it comes to signing a free agent. He is younger than Bassitt which is good. In terms of ability, he’s one of those guys teams will be hoping pulls a Zack Wheeler and becomes excellent in his 30s.
It’s not inconceivable for the Mets to end up with both of these free agents. Nimmo meeting with the Yankees is a look at the other side of the fence. Taillon also happens to be a match to return to the Yankees. The decision by Judge will ultimately point them in their next direction. Nimmo becomes a much bigger “must” for them if he ends up with the San Francisco Giants.
The Mets should act quickly because of this. If Nimmo is indeed someone they want back, it’s time to make it happen. Otherwise, they should continue to look at their other options.