PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- It was nearly 11 years ago that the Mets selected Brandon Nimmo, a lanky, untested high school outfielder, in the first round of the MLB Draft. Nimmo has since become one of the club’s steadiest position players and well-liked personalities.
It’s a marriage that neither side particularly wants to end, despite Nimmo’s ability to become a free agent for the first time after this season. His hope is that extension talks might begin during Spring Training, which often provides the opportunity for such deals to come together quickly.
“I’m definitely open to it,” Nimmo said Saturday. “This is all I’ve known, is being a New York Met, so I’m definitely open to it, but they haven’t approached me on it yet.”
Since 2018, Nimmo has quietly been one of baseball’s most efficient hitters, ranking fourth behind only Mike Trout, Juan Soto and Bryce Harper in on-base percentage (minimum 1,000 plate appearances), with 120 extra-base hits in 356 games.
The problem for Nimmo has been health. Neck, wrist and other issues have prevented him from taking the field with any sort of regularity -- a factor that could take him in one of two directions. Nimmo could either acknowledge his own injury risk and sign a new deal now to ensure future earnings, or he could view the 2022 season as an opportunity to prove his ability to stay healthy over 162 games, with the potential to cash in bigger next winter.
What the 28-year-old Nimmo stressed is that his decision to change agencies from CAA to Scott Boras won’t affect how he views an extension. Despite Boras’ reputation for taking as many star clients as possible to free agency, Nimmo said he made the switch simply because “it was the best business decision for us.”
“It doesn’t make the talk of an extension a nil,” Nimmo said. “I definitely am interested.”
Although Mets players aren’t required to be at Clover Park until Sunday, a large group was at the complex on Saturday, including Nimmo, Francisco Lindor, Taijuan Walker, Luis Guillorme, Jordan Yamamoto, Thomas Szapucki and Max Scherzer, who threw his first bullpen session as a Met.
Jacob deGrom was expected at the complex by Sunday, along with every other member of the 40-man roster.
Honoring No. 41
Because the team will open its regular season on the road rather than at home, the Mets have pushed back their dedication of a Tom Seaver statue to the home opener on April 15. The statue has been in the works for more than two years, but construction delays and the COVID-19 pandemic conspired to delay its unveiling. The statue will be located adjacent to the Shea Stadium Home Run Apple outside Citi Field’s Jackie Robinson Rotunda.
The Mets’ original schedule called for a March 31 Opening Day in Queens, with plans to unveil the statue that day. But the late ratification of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement pushed back the start of the season one week, forcing the Mets to alter their plans. They will hold a ceremony at Citi Field with members of the Seaver family present.