Eight years and $162 million! Nimmo certainly has every reason to celebrate. He hit .274 with 16 home runs and a career-high 64 RBI and 130 WRC+, plus a respectable .367 OBP. Cut to $20 million a year until he is 37 and the Wyoming native is sitting pretty.
Except maybe Mets fans should cool the celebration jets for a second. Sure, Nimmo is good, but is he $20 million a year good? Taking a look at his career as a whole, perhaps not.
First, Nimmo’s 151 games played last year were not only a career high, but only the second time he’s eclipsed the 100-game mark in a season. He appeared in 140 games back in 2018. In 2019 and ’21, he only appeared in a combined 161 games.
On the hitting side, Nimmo’s power last year was almost exclusively on the road. 12 of his 16 homers were hit on the road. Granted, Citi Field is a big ballpark, but Nimmo’s power there is restricted to the gaps. Can he reach down for that something extra and hit a home run when needed?
The list goes on. His barrel rate has topped out in the 48th percentile. Strikeouts might be a problem, even with last year’s career-best strikeout rate (K%) of 17.2%. Nimmo also doesn’t steal bases, only 23 in seven seasons, and yet his speed has him penciled in as the Mets’ leadoff man.
Eight years, $162 million? Sure, Nimmo deserved a lucrative free agency contract after playing well both at bat and in the field last season. But at over $20 million a year, and for someone who’s only played in over 100 games twice?
Sorry, Mets fans, but this is another harsh free agency lesson. Great as owner Steve Cohen and his willingness to spend are, this is a gross overpay reminiscent of the Yankees signing Jacoby Ellsbury.
Hopefully, Nimmo can stay healthy and prove the critics wrong by earning every penny of that $162 million. Otherwise? Cohen might be a brand new owner, but he’s still running the same old Mets.