Skip to main content

What A Brandon Nimmo Extension Might Look Like For Mets

The Mets have interest in extending Brandon Nimmo after the lockout. Find out what the details might look like.

The Mets have already been busy this offseason, committing a total of $254.5 million in free agency to Max Scherzer (three-years, $130 million), Starling Marte (four-years, $78 million), Eduardo Escobar (two-years, $20 million) and Mark Canha (two-years, $26.5 million).

And once the lockout ends, there are still a number of holes to address on the roster. But beyond bringing in additional targets on the free agent and trade market, the Mets also appear to be thinking about locking up one of their own homegrown players as well.

As Andy Martino of SNY reported on Nov. 30, the Mets are interested in extending outfielder Brandon Nimmo and could have dialogue with his camp after the work stoppage concludes.

Nimmo is entering his final year of arbitration with the team in 2022 and typically, these types of contract extensions occur during spring training. Nimmo made $4.7 million in 2021, and after a productive campaign, despite spending time on the injured list, he should be in line for at least a $3.5 million raise, which would put his salary around $8 million for his age-29 season.

So, what could the figures look like if the Mets and Nimmo decide to strike a deal later this winter?

One MLB agent told Inside the Mets on Friday that Nimmo could potentially draw a long-term deal hovering around seven-years, $125 million, with the team buying out his final year of arbitration. And the agent went onto explain his reasoning behind this projected figure.

"Conceptually, from a front office's point of view, extending a 5.042 major league service player, they want to keep him for the core of his career so they offer him something tasty enough to prevent market exploration, but friendly enough where they get a return on their investment," the agent said. "Nimmo is a full healthy season away from being a star, and I would hope the Mets see that and it is why I suspect there could be motivation (for an extension).

"He's extremely cheap for 2022, potentially costing a paltry $1.6 million per WAR, so they can lock that in and get a large return that you can amortize over the life of an extension. A player’s perspective is all about risk assessment, and I would think Nimmo is open to an extension for two reasons that play off each other: 1) injury bug, 2) he has never had a huge pay day, with career earnings coming to around $16,675,000."

The Mets are currently on the verge of losing another homegrown outfielder in Michael Conforto, who rejected their one-year, $18.4 million qualifying offer following a disappointing 2021 season. New York will receive a compensatory draft pick if Conforto winds up signing with another team in free agency, which appears to be inevitable at this point. Luckily, they can still lock up Nimmo, who has endured similar production as a Met.

"For context, Conforto made $24,250,000 (in his career) and (he and Nimmo) will probably come out around the same WAR value for their Mets career (current career bWAR: Nimmo: 12.2, Conforto: 15.7)," said the agent. "(Nimmo) is in a unique position where if he gets hurt again, he’s looking at a two-year deal in 2023 and maybe never an opportunity for that monster security. 

Scroll to Continue

Read More

"But if he balls out and stays healthy, we are talking a big boy contract (think George Springer: six-years, $150 million like comparison). I'd suspect with Nimmo's injury history, it's reasonable to hedge his bets and cash in."

In 2021, Nimmo slashed .292/.401/.437, but a torn ligament in his hand and a hamstring injury limited him to just 92 games. He also missed a large chunk of the 2019 season, appearing in a total of 69 games due to a neck issue as well.

Regardless, Nimmo has a .398 on-base percentage since the start of 2018, which is the fourth-best mark in all of baseball. During this span, Nimmo has been one of the most productive outfielders in the league, slashing .267/.398/.457 with a 136 OPS+ in 356 games.

Although Nimmo showed vast improvement in center field last year with four defensive runs saved, the Mets signed one of the best free agents at the position in Marte back in November. This move will likely bump Nimmo to a corner outfield spot, where he spent the first four seasons of his career from 2016-2019.

According to Fangraphs, Nimmo is projected to post a 3.4 fWAR in 2022 across 130 games, which is actually higher than Marte's 2.9 fWAR projection playing in 134 games. Last season, Nimmo posted a 0.0380 WAR per game, and over the course of 130 contests, that number comes out to a 4.9 WAR campaign. 

"Nimmo is legit, and that's what I mean by why the front office may want to lock this in," said the agent. "So let's say Nimmo posts a 3.5 WAR in 2022, and we assume a reasonable and conservative decline of -0.2/-0.3/-0.4 and -0.5 for 2026-2028. He would produce about 17.2 Wins above Replacement over seven years, which is $147.6 million in value assuming 1 WAR is worth $8 million on the market plus some inflationary stuff.

"The Mets would absolutely get a good ROI on that investment," he said. "If Nimmo plays a full 2022 season at 2021’s rate producing close to or at 5 WAR, it’s an extremely friendly deal anyway you slice it. And after a quick look into the 2023 free agent class, I’m not sure you could find a better outfielder."

The current 2023 free agent class is expected to include the following outfielders: Nimmo, Aaron Judge (Yankees looking to extend him prior to 2022 season), Andrew Benintendi, Charlie Blackmon (player option), Jackie Bradley Jr., Michael Brantley, Lorenzo Cain, Adam Duvall, Joey Gallo, Robbie Grossman, Mitch Haniger, Kevin Kiermaier (club option), Manuel Margot, Wil Myers (club option), Tyler Naquin, David Peralta, A.J. Pollock (club option) and Justin Upton.

However, Nimmo, who the Mets selected with the No. 13 overall pick in the first-round of the 2011 MLB Draft, can possibly sign a long-term deal to remain in Queens through his age-35 season, thus avoiding free agency next year.

While we are still a few months away from these two sides going to the table, it is realistic to expect there to be discussions of an extension after the lockout is over. As previously mentioned, the Mets would be wise to lock Nimmo up at a bargain rate that favors both sides.

Read More