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MLB Insider mentions Phillies as potential landing spot for Brandon Nimmo after 2022


While Roman Quinn has offered a temporary reprieve and Mickey Moniak may not be far off from returning, the Philadelphia Phillies have had a hole in center field for the better part of the last few seasons.

One MLB Insider has an idea for how they could potentially turn that negative into a positive, but it may not be one that excites Phillies fans at first blush.

On the latest episode of The Show: A NY Post Baseball Podcast, Jon Heyman listed some teams that he’s heard could be potential suitors for Brandon Nimmo this offseason, should he become a free agent. In addition to the Seattle Mariners, Chicago Cubs and Texas Rangers, Heyman mentioned the Phillies, while noting that he’s aware that Nimmo doesn’t have a great reputation currently among fans of a division rival:

“…And Philly is a team I’ve heard. Now I mentioned that on Twitter, the Phillies, and I got a lot of pushback from their fans.”

Nimmo sprints to first base after his walks, and has walked 52 times and driven in 28 runs in 77 career games against the Phillies, so it’s true, he isn’t especially popular when he comes to Citizens Bank Park currently.

From an on-field perspective, though, it’s hard to overstate how much of an upgrade that Nimmo would be over the current internal options that the Phillies have at the position. In his age-29 season, Nimmo is slashing .297/.391/.448 with three home runs, 15 RBIs, 22 walks and an .839 OPS. He has one defensive run saved and two outs above average in center field. The only full-time center fielder who tops Nimmo’s 2.0 fWAR in 2022 is Mike Trout, one of the greatest players that the position has ever seen.

The Phillies hoped that the offseason signing of Kyle Schwarber would also fix the problems they’ve had in recent seasons getting consistent production out of the leadoff spot. Maybe it eventually will, but to this point the top spot in Joe Girardi’s lineup has once again been a revolving door. Nimmo, meanwhile, has a .388 on-base percentage when hitting first in the lineup for the New York Mets in his career.

Brandon Nimmo will be a. free agent after the 2022 season. (Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire)

There are lot’s of disclaimers here, the biggest being that if the Mets continue on what’s starting to feel like a magical season, owner Steve Cohen will probably try to re-sign Nimmo. It will be interesting to see how far the Mets are willing to go in that pursuit, though, given that they signed Starling Marte to a four-year/$78 million deal this past offseason.

In the interim, perhaps Moniak, a former No. 1 overall pick, will emerge as a legitimate starting center fielder at the major league level. He’s still only 24, and for what it’s worth, he homered six times and drove in 11 runs in 37 at-bats this spring before breaking his right hand. The Phillies need to start hitting on some young players that they’ve drafted and developed, and Moniak would be a case of better late than never.

But if Moniak’s hot spring doesn’t translate to a breakout season, the Phillies can only trot Quinn and Odúbel Herrera out in center field for so long.

And as far as Phillies fans that can’t imagine rooting for a player they’ve come to hate on a division-rival, it wasn’t that long ago that such a sentiment existed about Bryce Harper.

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