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Mets’ Brandon Nimmo fine with shift to left field

PORT STREET LUCIE — Brandon Nimmo is proud of his job as a center fielder, but he knew the Mets had a chance to get even stronger at the position over the winter.

So when President of Baseball Operations David Stearns contacted him in November about a possible move to left field, Nimmo said he did not protest.

“I told him, ‘Honestly, my goal at this point in my career is to win a World Series,'” Nimmo said Monday after the Mets’ first full-team practice of spring training. “If I think building a better outfield defense or adding them to our roster will give us a chance to win a World Series, then I’ll do it.

“I’m a good center fielder, but if you bring in other players, you’ll have a very good outfielder. The best thing for him is to be willing to do whatever it takes.”


Brandon Nimmo runs during Mets spring training on February 15, 2024. Corey Shipkin of the New York Post

The Mets ultimately signed former Gold Glove center fielder Harrison Bader to a one-year contract worth $10.5 million.

Bader had nine outs above average last season, putting him in the 95th percentile of MLB players in that category, according to Statcast.

Nimmo finished with zero outs, which was above average as a center fielder.

He was one out above average as a left fielder and finished in the 69th percentile overall.

Nimmo currently plays primarily on the left, but shifts to center on days when Bader is not in the lineup.

Nimmo played the corner outfield position his first three seasons with the Mets, before converting to center in 2019.

“My athleticism helps me adjust and be versatile like that,” Nimmo said. “If you keep good communication and let us know in advance, we can prepare in the right way.”

Bader, 29, has struggled to stay on the field throughout his career due to injuries.

He played in just 98 games with the Yankees and Reds last season before undergoing sports hernia surgery.


Harrison Bader runs during Mets spring training on February 15, 2024.
Harrison Bader runs during Mets spring training on February 15, 2024. Corey Shipkin of the New York Post

Bader arrives in camp focused on conditioning and whether he can play a full season with the Mets.

But he also appreciated Nimmo’s selflessness in accepting the move to left field.

“I have a lot of respect for him,” Bader said. “It was great to watch from afar because I’ve been through pretty much the same path in my career as he’s been able to accomplish what he’s supposed to do. I have a lot of respect for his game and , I am delighted to be by his side and working with him.”

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