brandon nimmo mets
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Just when you figured the Mets had more than enough competition to re-sign Brandon Nimmo in free agency, another team makes room to throw their hat in the ring.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Toronto Blue Jays completed a trade with the Seattle Mariners. It involved outfielder Teoscar Hernandez heading to the Pacific Northwest in exchange for reliever Erik Swanson and minor league starter Adam Macko. There’s nothing wrong with beefing up the backend of Toronto’s bullpen, but it was initially a little curious as to why Hernandez was on the trading block.

Sure, the 30-year-old is projected to hit free agency next winter, but he’s really come into his power since the start of 2020. Over his past 1,337 plate appearances, the right-handed hitter is slashing .283/.333/.519. His 162-game averages during this period include 36 home runs, 36 doubles, 114 RBI, and 98 runs scored. With a projected arbitration salary just shy of $15 million, that’s good value for a win-now team like the Blue Jays.

Not long after the trade went down, MLB insider Jon Morosi gave us a glimpse into Toronto’s motivation:

Well, shoot. This makes sense for them. You’d imagine it could also make things a little more difficult for the Mets to retain their homegrown outfielder. Agent Scott Boras recently said there were many teams inquiring about Nimmo, which isn’t surprising. He’s easily the top free-agent center fielder on the market, so bidding for his services should be competitive.

Installing Nimmo in center field at the Rogers Centre likely means moving George Springer to a corner. That’d help keep the 33-year-old as healthy as possible. He did play 133 games in 2022 but was limited to 78 in 2021.

He’s spent most of the past few years as a leadoff hitter. Toronto potentially signing Nimmo could move Springer into the middle of the order to provide Vladimir Guerrero Jr. more protection. Also, Morosi wasn’t kidding about the Blue Jays being mostly right-handed. If we look at their projected lineup on FanGraphs’ Roster Resource, there isn’t a single left-handed bat to be seen in the starting nine.

All the interest in Nimmo’s services could equal his asking price getting increased. Would the Blue Jays play in those waters? After 2020 when Springer hit the open market, the Mets were also pursuing the outfielder. He ultimately signed elsewhere because New York wouldn’t go near the six-year, $150 million contract Toronto offered.

Things can change within a couple of years’ time. Competition for Nimmo could land at or near the terms Toronto agreed to pay Springer, so we know they’re likely comfortable with those numbers.

Matt Musico can be reached at and you can follow him on Twitter: @mmusico8.

Matt Musico is an editor for ESNY. He’s been writing about baseball and the Mets for the past decade. His work has been featured on numberFire, MetsMerized Online, Bleacher Report, and Yahoo! Sports.