LAS VEGAS — Brandon Nimmo’s ability as a center fielder and leadoff hitter who has handled the New York stage are among the selling points his agent, Scott Boras, is pushing this winter.
To that end, Boras said Wednesday that “the majority” of MLB teams have already checked in on Nimmo, who became a free agent this week.
In his tradition of using puns at the GM Meetings when discussing clients, Boras went the Disney route.
“There are a lot of teams in the free-agent market that are in the waters for a center fielder,” Boras said. “Whoever Pixar guy will be the lucky one to Finding Nimmo.”
The 29-year-old Nimmo produced an .800 OPS last season for the Mets, playing a career-high 151 games. And a market thin on center fielders plays to his favor.
“You are looking at a guy that there are no center fielders in our game that are available,” Boras said. “And then you add leadoff to that and then you add … on-base percentage to that, and he’s an excellent defender and then also he can play in New York. When you have those elements that are there, he becomes a very integral part of what we found for a team to win 100 games. He’s a very proven commodity and there are very few that can replace him.”
The Mets are expected to extend a qualifying offer to Nimmo worth $19.65 million for next season. That means if Nimmo were to sign with another team the Mets would receive draft pick compensation.
Mets general manager Billy Eppler has said the team will try to sign Nimmo, but any hopes of a fast deal might not be realistic.
“We have already had discussions with many teams regarding Nimmo,” Boras said. “Free agency is here, we are working all hours, we are talking with teams, we are negotiating, so all this process is underway.”
Last offseason, Boras’ star client Max Scherzer received a three-year contract from the Mets worth $130 million.
“When [owner] Steve Cohen reached out and signed Scherzer he really raised the flag that, ‘We’re here to be a championship-level organization,’ ” Boras said. “And the influence of Max on a team … I think it brought real credible illustration to what the new Met organization is about and that had not been there for a long time.”