Mets meet with Kodai Senga, and the club's big key to the offseason
The 29-year-old star is touring potential suitors as he seeks to sign with a big league club this winter
What’s Up with the Mets? 🍎
The Mets have already held their meeting with Japanese pitching star Kodai Senga (Athletic)
Pete Alonso and Francisco Lindor both finished in the top 10 in NL MVP voting—Alonso eighth and Lindor ninth (official release)
Brandon Nimmo’s free agency has been busy as he’s already begun meeting personally with teams (SNY)
Jake Eisenberg, who filled in sporadically last season for Howie Rose in the Mets radio booth, is joining the Royals radio broadcast team for 2023 (Royals)
A resolution to Brandon Nimmo’s free agency is imperative to Mets’ offseason plans📝
The Mets made outfielder Brandon Nimmo the 13th overall pick in the 2011 draft, and while it took five years for him to reach the big leagues, the Wyoming native became a fan favorite and an integral part of the Mets core (perhaps unexpectedly at the time) pretty quickly.
Nimmo has been a fixture in center field and at the top of the New York lineup for years and is coming off a season that watched him set new career highs in hits, runs, RBI, and doubles. His big season came at an advantageous time personally with him reaching free agency for the first time in his career in a weak free agent class for outfielders.
The 29-year-old has positioned himself for a lucrative long-term contract, and while the Mets certainly hope that will be in Queens, it’s important to the rest of their offseason that they find out that answer as quickly as possible.
Should Nimmo depart—and there have been no shortage of reported interested teams—it would almost certainly necessitate a defensive shuffle all over the diamond.
Without Nimmo the Mets would need to find an impact offensive player to try to offset his loss, with someone like Trea Turner certainly atop the list of players who could fit the bill.
But let’s talk about what exactly that would look like and why it might not be all that reasonable.
For starters, this year’s free-agent class is loaded with all-star shortstops. In addition to Turner, Xander Bogaerts, Dansby Swanson, and Carlos Correa are all available on the open market. With that many teams potentially needing new shortstops, why would Turner agree to go somewhere to play second base? And with Francisco Lindor locked in at position number six on your scorecard for a decade, that’s where he would have to play in Queens (which begs another question - why would or should the Mets pay premium shortstop money to a player who will not be a shortstop here?). And even if he agreed to do that, the Mets would have to move Jeff McNeil to left, Starling Marte to center, and Mark Canha to right. With that many moving parts it’s worth wondering if that would really be the best fit.
But to replace Nimmo the Mets would have to get pretty creative in some capacity. The second base free-agent center fielder this winter is longtime Ray Kevin Kiermaier who is as solid a defensive outfielder as there is in the game, but is far from an offensive difference maker.
New York has indicated it would be comfortable moving Marte back to center field—a place he’s played a lot during in his career—and could attempt to add offense to right field in that scenario.
But one of the reasons the Mets decided to sign Marte and move him to right field was because of sustainability, and that Nimmo of course was emerging into one of the game’s best defensive outfielders. In other words, why fix what wasn’t broken?
Free-agents like Michael Conforto (I don’t hate that thought), Mitch Haniger, and Wil Myers could be alternatives, as could the reigning AL MVP Aaron Judge, who is probably the only true free agent alternative to Nimmo anyway.
Of course, Billy Eppler and his constituents could try to find better fits on the trade market, but they’ve expressed reluctance to deal the prospects necessary to net them the kind of difference making player they’ve sought.
See the 2022 trade deadline for an example.
But the more I think about it and look into the situation, there really is not an easy blueprint for the Mets to be better in ‘23 than they were last season without Brandon Nimmo in the equation.
There really is nobody better for them right now.
And while plan A should be, and conceivably is, bringing Nimmo back, if he does depart to Colorado or Toronto or one of the many other reported interested teams, it would certainly behoove the Mets to learn that news sooner rather than later so they have more time to come up with and execute a plan B.
Hot Stove 🔥
Aaron Judge’s historic season received an exclamation point when he was named American League MVP
St. Louis first baseman Paul Goldschmidt was named MVP of the National League
Wheeling and dealing Mariners’ President of Baseball Operations Jerry DiPoto swung his second trade in as many days, this time sending outfielder Kyle Lewis to Arizona in exchange for C/OF Cooper Hummel
Seattle has also reportedly reached out to the Brewers about the availability of second baseman Kolten Wong (Morosi)
The Athletics claimed OF/1B Brent Rooker off waivers from Kansas City
The Dodgers have to decide today whether or not to tender CF Cody Bellinger a contract for 2023—and if they don’t the Cubs seem to have the former MVP high on their wish list. (MLN)
Nimmo is a great team mate, has a high OBP, handles NY media well and improved immensely in CF, but I feel we need a change.
I group up watching baseball in the 80’s and even though I hated the Cardinals of that decade, I admired their lineup. They always had 2 guys leading off that were terrors on the base paths, which I believe distracted the pitchers while pitching to the heart of the order. Nimmo while fast for his age isn’t a threat to steal bases. I also believe starting next year with the new bigger bases that will be the new normal to have speedy players on our teams.
So that’s why I would love to bring Trea over and join our team. Pay him top dollar and he won’t mind playing second base. Also it’s rumored that Philly will be all over him and if they add him that makes their lineup that much more scarier and better than ours.
My vote is to sign Trea (8years $300 mill) and Conforto to a one year deal. You have Canha and Conforto as your DH combo/ 3rd outfielder and McNiel as your everyday left fielder.
A lineup with Trea and Marte leading off is reminiscent of those Bobby Herzog 80’s cardinals teams that I hated but fun to watch.