Hoping to be a career Met, Brandon Nimmo ‘wanted to see it through from start to finish’
“Feels good to put this jersey back on and know it’s not coming off.”
That’s what Brandon Nimmo said on Thursday morning at Citi Field after again slipping on his blue and orange No. 9 Mets jersey — the same one he has been wearing since making his big league debut in 2016.
As Nimmo was officially reintroduced as a Met, with him on a dais next to GM Billy Eppler, manager Buck Showalter, and his agent, Scott Boras, he explained why he returned.
And throughout the news conference, Nimmo kept coming back to the same two main reasons: his desire to win and to be a career Met.
“I think last season we had a great season and came up a little bit short of the ultimate goal, and I’m here to try and see that through,” Nimmo explained. “I’m here to try and see it through from start to finish. This organization and the Cohens have made it very, very, clear, Billy has made very, very clear the goal is to win here. And that’s a big reason why we decided to stick around.
“To be able to start your career with someone, to be able to finish your career with the same team, that’s something really, really special. And not many players get to do that. We really get to continue to set our roots down here and be a part of this organization from top to bottom. From the charity work that the Cohen’s and everyone in this organization does, all the way to the performance on the field. We’re very, very excited to continue to be a part of this and very excited to continue this winning culture and this pursuit of a World Series.”
Eppler, who has had an incredibly busy offseason while retaining Nimmo on an eight-year deal for $162 million, signing Justin Verlander, Kodai Senga, Jose Quintana, and David Robertson, and trading for Brooks Raley, talked about what it meant to keep Nimmo in a Mets uniform.
And Eppler also discussed the trust it takes to reward a player with a contract the size of the one Nimmo received.
“To be able to keep Brandon in a Mets uniform — drafted, developed in the organization. He means a lot to a lot of people here,” Eppler said. “It was a pretty easy decision for us when we were going through the process, and Scott keeping us abreast of how things were developing, to make that commitment to Brandon.
“One of the things that we talk about when we’re gonna extend a longer-term deal to a player is ‘can we trust him with the contract, can we trust his intentions, can we trust the type of player — not only what he brings on the field, which is All-Star ability on both sides of the inning — but can we trust the intentions? Can we trust the heart of the player?’ So many people here think the world of him. I got to know him over the last year. Buck got to know him over the last year. Everything people kind of characterized was true.”
Before coming to terms with the Mets, Nimmo took meetings with other teams to explore his options. And while Nimmo said he had to “envision” his life in other places during those meetings, his goal was to return to Queens.
“Towards the end, the Mets just made it very, very clear that they wanted me back,” Nimmo said. “From the beginning of last year, I’ve expressed my interest in staying here and what it would mean to be able to finish my career being a New York Met.
“Honestly, when I look back on it and finally get a chance to, being drafted out of Wyoming — a lot of chances had to be taken on that. To be able to give me all the tools that I needed to kind of hone that raw ability through the minor league system to now — here we go — we’re signing this contract and gonna be in New York for the rest of our career, and wanting that to culminate in a World Series. You can’t draw it up any better than that. Ultimately, I definitely wanted to stick around and made that very clear.”
Nimmo also talked about the “family atmosphere” with the Mets under owners Steve and Alex Cohen.
“The Cohens have been nothing but family to us right from the top,” Nimmo said. “And to be honest, I think that’s something harder to find throughout the league with ownership. But the Cohen’s have been in it right from the beginning.”
As the news conference came to a close, Nimmo again returned to his desire to win — and his belief in the Mets’ ability to do so.
“This would be — looking down the lineup, looking at the starting rotation — this is somewhere we can go and we can win, and we can continue to win,” Nimmo explained. “That’s always a huge motivator in free agency, is ‘where can I go and compete for a World Series title?’ The great part is I didn’t have to go anywhere.”
Source: Yahoo Sports