Brandon Nimmo: Mets’ vision, big signings, comfort led to re-signing

Brandon NImmo Mets
Brandon Nimmo (middle) with (from left to right): Scott Boras, Billy Eppler, his wife Chelsea, and Buck Showalter. (Photo: Joe Pantorno/AMNY)

QUEENS — As Brandon Nimmo wrestled with the potential of leaving the New York Mets — the only club he had ever known since being drafted in 2011 — in free agency this winter, the checklist of what he wanted from the team he signed his next contract with were simple: Can they win and can they continue to win?

“That’s always a huge motivator in free agency,” Nimmo said on Thursday at his re-introductory press conference at Citi Field. “Where can I go and compete for a World Series title?

“The great part is I didn’t have to go anywhere.”

Nimmo is back in Queens for the long haul, signing an eight-year, $162 million pact to all but confirm the Mets have their center fielder and lead-off man for life. 

Coming off a career season at the plate which also featured considerable steps forward defensively, the 29-year-old’s market was one of the most robust amongst the major free agents in baseball given the lack of depth available elsewhere at the position.

Brandon NImmo Mets MLB
Brandon Nimmo (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

While Nimmo admitted that he went into a number of meetings with other teams under the natural mindset of trying to envision himself with them and in that new city — his agent, Scott Boras, said Nimmo would meet for ‘literally four hours” with each team — the Mets and owner Steve Cohen certainly caught his attention after a flurry of big signings headlined by starting pitcher Justin Verlander.

“That obviously started things off with a bang and you thought, ‘OK is it going to keep going? Or is this the big move for now?'” Nimmo said. “Boy, they just kept rolling out that next week.”

Jose Quintana, David Robertson, and Kodai Senga followed and it wasn’t before long that Nimmo was putting pen to paper with the Mets, too.

“We had a lot of free agents from last year so there were a lot of holes to fill and things to do and there’s always questions of, can it be taken care of?” Nimmo said. “And with a resounding yes, Steve and the front office and [manager Buck Showalter] made that very clear that we are going to win this year and sign the people that need to be signed to fill those spots.”

It certainly didn’t hurt the Mets’ chances that Nimmo enjoys his life in Queens and with the club.

“Kind of my negotiating style is if I find a place where a player is comfortable… we kind of focus on one club,” Boras said. “That’s kind of how we worked it with the Mets… We fielded a number of offers from the teams initially but the primary focus was that Brandon let me know that he was very comfortable here… and I thought Steve did a great job in letting Brandon know at the forefront that we’re here to get something done.”

With his new deal in hand, Nimmo has already shifted his sights to next season where his next objective is to become a more consistent ballplayer. But ultimately, it’s all about getting a ring. 

“The goal is to win here. That’s a big reason why we decided to stick around,” Nimmo said. “To be able to start your career with someone, to be able to finish your career with the same team, that’s something really special. Not many players get to do that. We really get to continue to set our roots down here and be a part of this organization from top to bottom.”

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