The Mets have surpassed the luxury tax benchmark with their blowout acquisitions of Winter Meetings, and general manager Billy Eppler has promised even more talent. A day after meetings ended, the club delivered on its promise by re-signing outfielder Brandon Nimmo to an eight-year, $162 million deal and reliever David Robertson to a one-year, $10 million deal.
The opening day wage bill is projected at $325 million and the club are reportedly still in pursuit of Japanese pitcher Kodai Senga.
It sends a clear message to the fanbase and the rest of baseball: The Mets are ready to pursue a World Series this year and beyond, and they will spend whatever it takes to make it happen. More than $2 billion has been committed to future wages this winter and Cohen is in a prime position to participate in a hot free agent market.
“I think the biggest takeaway here is that [owner Steve Cohen] is determined to win,” Eppler said Wednesday afternoon during winter meetings in San Diego. “He talked about it at his introductory press conference and talked about it again last year shortly after I was hired and we made some of those signings. That commitment remains very evident to this day and the commitment that he and [his wife Alex] do to the community, the fanbase and the city of New York.
Nimmo was the Mets’ first pick in 2011 and although the Cheyenne, Wyoming native’s rise hasn’t been quick, the outfielder has managed to become an integral part of the roster thanks to his on-base abilities. He worked diligently to improve his defense and tracking in the outfield and developed into a strong central defender. He endeared himself to fans with his positive attitude and sprints to first base on a walk.
Off the pitch, Nimmo was a popular player who participated in several charity events and was active in the community.
The contract will see him through his 38-year-old season and while there is some risk for a player with his injury history, this contract shows the club that drafted him want him to stay a Met. throughout his career.
Since 2016, Nimmo has reduced .269/.385/.441 with a .827 OPS. He posted an OBP of .400 or more three times in his career and boasts a career walk rate of 13.6%, well above the league average, which has been around 7 to 8% in recent seasons.
Robertson, a 37-year-old former Yankees reliever, sparked interest from the Mets at the trade deadline but eventually returned to the Philadelphia Phillies for the second time in his career, helping them qualify for a World Series . The acquisition gives the Mets a top-tier setup man who is effective against lefties (0.168 opponents average in 2022) and righties (0.179 opponents average). His curveball has been his calling card throughout his career.
The Mets now have three high-leverage relievers in the bullpen to use before closing in on Edwin Diaz in Robertson, Drew Smith and Brooks Raley, the latter of whom they traded on Wednesday.