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

David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports
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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.

Jesus Luzardo beats Marlins in salary arbitration

Atlanta Braves v Miami Marlins
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Pitcher Jesus Luzardo became the second player in two days to beat the Miami Marlins in salary arbitration and was awarded $2.45 million.

Miami had argued for $2.1 million during a hearing Thursday before a panel of John Stout, Melinda Gordon and Richard Bloch.

AL batting champion Luis Arraez, an All-Star infielder acquired by the Marlins from Minnesota last month, was awarded a $6.1 million salary on Thursday rather than the team’s $5 million figure.

Luzardo, a 25-year-old left-hander, was 4-7 with a 3.32 ERA in 18 starts last year, striking out 120 and walking 35 in 100 1/3 innings. He is 13-18 with a 3.59 ERA in 45 starts and 16 relief appearances over four big league seasons.

Luzardo made $715,000 last season and was eligible for arbitration for the first time. He can become a free agent after the 2026 season.

Players have won two of three decisions this year, with about 20 more scheduled for hearings.

Seattle defeated Diego Castillo in the first decision this year on Wednesday, and the relief pitcher will get a raise to $2.95 million rather than his request of $3,225,000.

A decision is being held for Los Angeles Angels outfielder Hunter Renfroe, whose case was argued Monday.