Last Updated on October 14, 2022 by Lil Ginge
This morning, I woke up to a smoking brew of Hannaford’s store brand coffee as I do these days – the nectar of the Gods – and completed my morning ritual of Googling the term “Mets” for my daily dose of piping hot news and even more scorching hot takes.
As I did so, I came upon an article by Mike Vacarro with the headline, “Mets Should Do Whatever It Takes To Keep Brandon Nimmo.” This particular headline caught my eye. I thought about this headline for a moment. Because it struck me as obviously insane.
And yet, such headlines among the baseball journalist elite are quite common. We are often told by such journalistos that Major League Baseball franchises should do “whatever it takes” to sign star player A or role player B.
After all, if the New York Mets – and their owner, Steve Cohen – set out to do “whatever it takes” to keep Brandon Nimmo beyond the 2022 season, the Mets most certainly could do so. For example, Cohen personally has the money to offer Nimmo a billion-dollar contract.
Should Mets Owner Steve Cohen Offer Brandon Nimmo A Billion Dollar Contract?
Such a contract – by far the most money offered to a player in Major League history – would almost undeniably induce Brandon Nimmo to sign with the New York Mets faster than a Targaryen on House of the Dragon would accept a marriage proposal to a nephew or a cousin.
So should Steve Cohen offer Brandon Nimmo a billion-dollar contract if it guarantees that he would stay with the Mets for the next few years, which Vaccaro suggests is a must-do for the team?
Obviously not. Such a notion in the 2022-23 MLB offseason would be obviously absurd. The Mets should not offer Brandon Nimmo – nor any other baseball player currently on Planet Earth and probably anywhere else – anything close to a $1 billion contract.
But why? Why shouldn’t the Mets make such an offer in order to keep their on-basey leadoff hitter? Shouldn’t they do “whatever it takes”, even if it takes a billion dollars or more? What if the Braves offer him $999.999 million? Should the Mets offer Nimmo a billion then?
Why The Mets Should Obviously Not Offer Nimmo A Billion Dollars
There are several reasons why the Mets should not make such an offer. Let’s walk through them.
No Baseball Player Is Currently Worth Anything Close To A Billion Dollars
The first and perhaps most straightforward answer to this question is that there is no world or situation in which Brandon Nimmo is worth a billion-dollar baseball contract in the 2022 – 2023 off-season. He simply isn’t that good at baseball. In fact, nobody is. Or, at least, nobody that we presently know about.
Major League Baseball teams offer contracts to specific baseball players because they believe that the baseball player in question can help the franchise achieve both their on-the-field and organizational goals like:
- winning in the regular season
- winning a World Series
- attracting fans to the ballpark,
- attracting television deals
- selling more footlong hot dogs and ice cold Buds
A particular baseball player’s value is tied up with how much that baseball player can help the organization achieve those goals. If a baseball player cannot help an organization achieve any of those goals, it doesn’t make sense to have that player on the roster.
Some baseball players will help Major League franchises achieve those baseball goals more than others. In general, a very good player will help a franchise accomplish those goals better than a very bad player. So in that regard, it makes sense to give a very good baseball player a lot more money than a very bad baseball player.
On the other hand, there is a limit to how much a franchise should give to even a very good baseball player. Because one individual baseball player can only contribute so much to the overarching goals of the organization. One-player Major League Baseball teams are not a thing and can’t win ball games.
Money Spent On One Player Isn’t Money You Can’t Spend On Others (Given A Limited / Finite Budget)
There comes a point where money deployed to acquire the services of one individual baseball player could be better deployed towards either a different individual baseball player or be deployed to acquire multiple baseball players.
To come back to our original example, Brandon Nimmo can certainly contribute to some or all of the Mets’ organizational goals over the next several years. As a result, maybe you think Brandon Nimmo is worth $1 billion to the organization.
But what if instead of giving Brandon Nimmo $1 billion, they offered him merely $500 million and spent the rest of that $500 million on several other baseball players including Edwin Diaz, Chris Bassitt, and Taijuan Walker? These are all current Mets about to become free agents that could conceivably help the team further achieve their goals in 2023 and beyond.
Wouldn’t option B – spreading the $1 billion among these four players, make more sense than giving the $1 billion all to Nimmo? Of course, it would.
Give Stupid Answers, Ask Stupid Questions
The above example is obviously absurd in the present baseball context. Nobody is going to get offered a billion dollars this offseason, let alone receive it. But it beautifully illustrates the point that Mike Vacarro’s headline is also ridiculous.
The Mets should absolutely not do whatever it takes to sign Brandon Nimmo to keep Brandon Nimmo. They should simply offer him a rational amount of money to stay and let whatever happens to happen.
If Nimmo demanded that much money, the Mets would be far better off saying goodbye to Nimmo and using said funds to acquire a mixture of players that could include, for example, Diaz, Walker, Bassitt, Jacob deGrom, and – who knows – Aaron Judge?
The point is, every Major League Baseball player has a relative value to other players. Brandon Nimmo is a great baseball player, but he’s not so great that his value blows the value of all other players away.
The Mets Should Make Nimmo A Rational Offer
There are times when it makes sense for a Major League Baseball franchise to overpay a player, even significantly. But there are always limits. There’s never a situation in which a franchise should wildly and drunkenly overspend on a player tens or hundreds of millions of dollars above their actual value on the market.
Should the Mets make a good-faith effort to keep Brandon Nimmo in 2023 and beyond? I think so. He’s a great player that will likely continue to bring strong value to the team in 2023 and for the next several years as long as he’s healthy (and he HAS had health issues).
But making a good-faith effort to keep a player is far different than “doing anything it takes to keep him”. The former is smart baseball management. The latter is asinine.
– Peace out,