Brandon Nimmo, Mets finalize $162 million, 8-year contract

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NEW YORK – Center fielder Brandon Nimmo and the New York Mets finalized their $162 million, eight-year contract on Saturday.

Nimmo gets a $2 million signing bonus and salaries of $18.25 million this year and $20.25 million annually from 2024-30.

A quality leadoff hitter with a .385 career on-base percentage, Nimmo became a free agent last month for the first time. He was a key performer as the Mets returned to the playoffs this year for the first time since 2016.

“Brandon has been part of the Mets family since he was drafted over 10 years ago,” Mets owner Steve Cohen said in a statement. “Throughout his career, Brandon has contributed so much to the club both on and off the field. His hustle and personality are a part of what makes this team so special.”

Nimmo hit .274 with 16 homers and a team-high 102 runs this year, a career best. Hampered by injuries in the past, the left-handed hitter also set career highs with 64 RBIs and 151 games played. His seven triples tied for most in the National League.

Bringing back the affable Nimmo means New York is poised to return its entire everyday lineup intact from a team that tied for fifth in the majors in runs and won 101 regular-season games – second-most in franchise history.

But the Mets remain busy replenishing a pitching staff gutted by free agency, including Jacob deGrom‘s departure for Texas and Taijuan Walker‘s deal with Philadelphia that is pending a physical.

During the offseason, the Mets have agreed to an $86.7 million, two-year contract with former Houston ace Justin Verlander, retained All-Star closer Edwin Diaz with a $102 million, five-year deal, reached a $26 million, two-year agreement with pitcher Jose Quintana and agreed to a $10 million, one-year deal with reliever David Robertson.

Those moves add to a payroll that was the largest in the majors last season. Under Cohen, who bought the Mets in November 2020, New York became baseball’s biggest spender this year for the first time since 1989. The Mets’ payroll was $273.9 million as of Aug. 31, with final figures that include bonuses yet to be compiled.

Nimmo was selected by New York with the No. 13 pick in the 2011 amateur draft. He declined a $19.65 million qualifying offer from the Mets last month.

The 29-year-old Wyoming native made his big league debut in 2016. He is a .269 career hitter with 63 homers, 213 RBIs and 23 triples in 608 games. He has an .827 career OPS and has improved his play in center, becoming a solid defender.

O’Day retires following 15 seasons for 6 major league teams

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ATLANTA (AP) Right-hander Darren O'Day, who posted a 4.15 ERA in 28 games with the Atlanta Braves in 2022, announced Monday he is retiring after 15 seasons for six teams in the major leagues.

O’Day said on his Twitter account “it’s finally time to hang ’em up.”

“The mental, physical and time demands have finally outweighed my love for the game,” O’Day said.

O’Day, 40, featured an unconventional sidearm delivery. He was 42-21 with a 2.59 ERA in 644 games, all in relief. He made his major league debut in 2008 with the Angels and pitched seven seasons, from 2012-18, for the Baltimore Orioles.

He posted a 4.43 ERA in 30 postseason games, including the 2010 World Series with the Texas Rangers.

O’Day also pitched for the New York Mets and New York Yankees. He pitched for the Braves in 2019-20 before returning for his second stint with the team last season. He became a free agent following the season.

He set a career high with six saves for Baltimore in 2015, when he was 6-2 with a 1.52 ERA and was an AL All-Star.