Toward the end of 2020, Steve Cohen became a majority owner of the New York Mets, retooling the team’s lineup with massive amounts of cash. Big names like Max Scherzer and Francisco Lindor were added to the squad, but there were still individuals who contributed tremendously to their recent campaign. One of them is leadoff hitter and center fielder Brandon Nimmo, who is coming off a career year.
Nimmo stepped up at the perfect time, as teams will be chasing him in free agency over the next few weeks. Even with their early exit, the Mets need to lock up some of their key cogs, like how they just signed closer Edwin Diaz a couple of days ago. It will be difficult for them to re-sign Nimmo because they will be competing with many teams in the chase for the star outfielder.
Here are the three best free agency destinations for Brandon Nimmo.
3. Philadelphia Phillies
There have been circulating rumors that the Philadelphia Phillies want to upgrade their shortstop position by inquiring about guys like Trea Turner. That is a brilliant decision for their organization, but another position they can upgrade is centerfield. Having Brandon Nimmo at the top of the order as their table-setter will be a fantastic boost for the Phillies and manager Rob Thomson.
The power-hitters would not be under as much pressure to drive in run with an elite contact hitter like Nimmo in the lineup. Moreover, Philadelphia stealing Nimmo from the rival Mets would open huge holes in their outfield defense and batting order. The Phillies’ defense was abysmal in the regular season, a weakness Nimmo would definitely help shore up.
2. Cleveland Guardians
This franchise is not known to spend millions of dollars on star free-agent acquisitions. As a small-market team, the Guardians develop their talented prospects internally as they become stars, like Steven Kwan and Josh Naylor. On the brink of advancing to the ALCS with a far less superior roster, Cleveland adding an incredibly versatile outfielder like Brandon Nimmo would be phenomenal.
The struggles of starting centerfielder Myles Straw at the plate are well-documented, so having a Nimmo’s reliable bat at the top of the order be a major upgrade for Cleveland. Straw is still young, bound for continued up and downs during his start in the Majors. Nimmo’s influence could accelerate his development, too.
1. Boston Red Sox
The outfield depth of this free agency class is not deep outside of generational talent Aaron Judge. For a Boston Red Sox organization that struggled mightily last season, one point of weakness is the leadoff spot. It is not a coincidence that Boston has experimented with a slew of leadoff hitters ever since the departure of superstar outfielder Mookie Betts.
Guys like Kike Hernandez, Alex Verdugo and Tommy Pham are some of the outfielders added by the Red Sox who have not come close to filling Betts’ shoes. Nimmo is not in the same stratosphere as Betts, but he would be by far the best leadoff hitter among all the previous players they brought in. Among NL leadoff hitters last year, Nimmo was second in OBA behind Christian Yelich, per The Washington Post.