Detroit Tigers: An early look at some possible free agent targets
OF Brandon Nimmo
It’s no secret the Detroit Tigers desperately need some firepower in their outfield. While it would be nice to see them go after Aaron Judge, that just doesn’t seem very realistic. Instead, we’re going to highlight an outfielder coming from the other team in New York.
Nimmo, who will turn 30 right before next season, was a first-round pick of the Mets back in 2011, and made his debut in 2016. He’s always been a really good defensive outfielder, but the bat has just been decent. He has a career OPS of .821, and a walk rate of 13.6%, but the power has never quite been there. His career high in homers came back in 2018 when he hit 17.
This season, he’s got 12 homers so far, but a career-low 9.7% walk rate. He is striking out at a 17% clip, however, also a career-low. Looking at his Baseball Savant page, his percentiles are littered with red circles, which is always nice to see.
Of course, the main concern with Nimmo has always been his health. He’s only played close to a full season once—in 2018, when he played in 140 games. This season is the first season since then where he’s played at least 100 games, playing in all but nine of New York’s 129 games so far.
In 2019 he missed significant time with a neck injury, and in 2021 he missed time due to a hamstring injury. But when he’s healthy, he’s usually near the top of the Mets’ lineup.
Spotrac estimates that Nimmo will earn just over $13 million in AAV in his next contract, which seems just about right. Ilitch won’t want to break the bank, and Nimmo is a really good outfielder when healthy. He’s more than good enough to play centerfield but he’d probably play right field in Detroit. His on-base ability would make a good No. 2 hitter behind Riley Greene. If his injury history doesn’t scare them, Nimmo would be a solid option for Detroit’s outfield.