Rumors: New York Mets have risky Brandon Nimmo backup plan

Jul 6, 2022; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; New York Mets center fielder Brandon Nimmo (9) reacts as he runs the bases after hitting a three-home run against the Cincinnati Reds in the tenth inning at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 6, 2022; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; New York Mets center fielder Brandon Nimmo (9) reacts as he runs the bases after hitting a three-home run against the Cincinnati Reds in the tenth inning at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports /
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SAN DIEGO — One day after signing Justin Verlander as another high-priced anchor of their rotation, one MLB insider is saying the New York Mets may be looking to bargain shop if Brandon Nimmo’s price tag gets too high.

Rumors: New York Mets may “consider” Kevin Kiermaier if Brandon Nimmo leaves in free agency

Jon Heyman of The New York Post is reporting that the New York Mets will “consider Kevin Kiermaier if they are unable to re-sign Brandon Nimmo” as the veteran center fielder’s price tag continues to go up in free agency. The 32-year-old Kiermaier played in just 63 games last season for the Tampa Bay Rays after having his season prematurely ended with surgery needed to repair a torn labrum in his left hip. Kiermaier had stated that he hoped to return to the Rays, but Tampa Bay declined his $13 million club option for this season, making him a free agent.

Not only is Kiermaier’s health a concern, but the dip in his defensive numbers from last season also raises some eyebrows, as does his career .248/.308/.407 slash line, a drop from what Nimmo has produced during his seven years with the Mets (.269/.385/.441).

Kiermaier is expected to earn less than Nimmo this offseason, a fact that may not be lost on the Mets as Nimmo continues to be pursued by such teams as the New York Yankees, Seattle Mariners, and Toronto Blue Jays, among others.

One team out of the Nimmo sweepstakes is the Colorado Rockies, with general manager Bill Schmidt telling reporters on Monday that Nimmo’s want of a multi-year contract didn’t fit into their plans for 2023 and beyond.

Mets fans were less than thrilled with the potential option for Kiermaier on social media.

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Will the Mets lose Brandon Nimmo in free agency, and could the Mets choose Kiermaier over an internal option, as was rumored that Starling Marte might be? It’s one of the many things we are following here at the MLB Winter Meetings.