Home Articles Why Brandon Nimmo would be a perfect fit for the White Sox

Why Brandon Nimmo would be a perfect fit for the White Sox

by Nik Gaur

New York Mets outfielder Brandon Nimmo produced a .263/.404/.483 line over 140 games in 2018, resulting in a 149 wRC+ and a 4.5 fWAR. Simply put, he was easily one of the most productive and underrated hitters in baseball. Nimmo has missed most of the 2019 season due to a neck injury, but has recorded a .377 on-base percentage in his 59 games played. A left-handed hitter and capable defender at all outfield positions, Nimmo is a player who would fit perfectly with the White Sox.

Why should the White Sox pursue Nimmo?

Brandon Nimmo provides a lot of what the White Sox are missing: he is a left-handed bat, a competent outfield defender, an extremely patient hitter, an on-base machine, and a solid right fielder. I have been working on my offseason overview for potential White Sox trade/free agency targets, and while there are many potential acquisitions for right field, none of them check as many boxes as Nimmo. The questions, of course, are whether the Mets would trade him, and at what cost.

Why would the Mets trade Nimmo?

The Mets, much unlike the White Sox, are loaded with left-handed hitting corner outfielders. Michael Conforto has a better track record than Nimmo, and he also may find himself in trade talks this offseason. Jeff McNeil plays all over the diamond, but is another all-star who spends a lot of time in the corner outfield spots. Dom Smith is still an intriguing prospect as a hitter, and the emergence of Pete Alonso has relegated him to a corner outfield/pinch hit role. And while he is not a lefty, J.D. Davis has been an exceptional hitter who often plays in left field.

The Mets may be forced to trade at least one of the above players this offseason, and the most obvious candidates for a trade are Conforto, controlled through the 2021 season, and Nimmo, who is controlled through the 2022 campaign.

What might Nimmo cost?

Having too many good players has never hurt a team before, so the Mets would still need to have a reason to trade away three seasons of Nimmo this winter. The challenge the White Sox will face in trade talks is that trading for controllable players is difficult when there is such a steep drop-off between your untouchable prospects (Luis RobertAndrew Vaughn, and Nick Madrigal) and your depth pieces.

The good news, however, is that the Mets have an unconventional front office and have made some weird trades lately. A trade for Nimmo, whose lack of durability may somewhat hinder his market, is at least a possibility for the White Sox. Here’s what I would propose:

White Sox receive: OF Brandon Nimmo (controlled through 2022 season), the contract of OF Yoenis Cespedes (expires after 2020 season), and cash

Mets receive: RHP Jonathan Stiever, OF Luis Alexander Basabe, and LHP Kodi Medeiros

I feel like this is a trade proposal that both fanbases will dislike. For White Sox fans who have grown attached to Stiever, I understand that trading from limited minor league starting pitching depth may be frightening, but the Sox would simply need somebody to headline this deal, and Steele Walker — yet another left-handed hitting outfielder — does not make sense for the Mets, nor does Gavin Sheets, who is limited to first base. The Sox would be selling high on Stiever, something they have not often done with prospects. Regardless, the timing of such a move is a necessary step for a rebuild.

The Mets would be hoping that Basabe returns to form following an injury-plagued season. Medeiros was also very good following his move to the bullpen during the 2019 season. While the package may seem light for three years of Nimmo, Stiever is a borderline top-100 prospect, and the Mets’ propensity for strange trades could be exploited by the White Sox. It’s unclear as to whether Yoenis Cespedes will even play in 2020, but he has $29.5 million remaining on his contract. The White Sox would not pay all of this, which is why they would also receive cash. (Yes, they probably would not take the contract in the first place, but let me dream!)

If the White Sox could pull off such a trade, their only hole on offense (assuming promotions to Robert and Madrigal) would be at designated hitter, for which the team will likely have to peruse the free agent market. Luckily, there are some good options available.

Brandon Nimmo is not the only left-handed hitting right fielder the White Sox can trade for this winter, and I will discuss some others in my aforementioned offseason overview. He is, however, a perfect fit for the White Sox and is controlled for three more seasons. If the Mets begin to sell some pieces, the White Sox should absolutely call them about Nimmo.


Featured Photo: @Mets (Twitter)

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Aaron Sapoznik
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Brandon Nimmo does check many of the boxes the White Sox would seek in a much needed left-handed hitter this offseason. He is a disciplined hitter that has manifested itself with a high OBP as a professional. Nimmo can also generate decent power numbers. He is an outfielder which is also the most likely area for the White Sox to target for their need. Nimmo’s age fits the rebuild well at 26 (27 next March) as does his 3 remaining years of team control which includes first time arbitration eligibility this coming season. He would also be an excellent addition… Read more »

Ted Voight
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Ted Voight

I would have liked to see the Sox try for Nick Castellanos this past trade deadline. One puzzle piece they wouldn’t have to worry about this off season. Contact hitter, decent foelder with a good arm. We take too many first and sometimes second pitches for strikes and then swing at pitches out of the strike zone.Castellanos is aggressive in the strike zone wboch they need.

Lincoln
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Lincoln

The Mets really like Nimmo, and right or wrong (probably wrong), are in win-now mode. Can’t see them subtracting from the MLB roster like this for a bunch of mid-level prospects, even if they’re dumping Cespedes (full NTC, btw). The only way I could see them moving Nimmo is for a solid starting pitcher or a dependable late(r)-inning reliever. But as it stands, Dom Smith is the more likely guy to be traded. He didn’t take too well to left field, and like you said, it blocked by Alonso at first. Conforto will be a starting outfielder, McNeil will start… Read more »

CHARLES WAGGONER
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CHARLES WAGGONER

I like the deal, it will be interesting to see what the Sox upper management does. Please don’t be all talk and hype but no action

Kevin
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Kevin

I say let’s get crazy with it and ask what it would take for syndergaard and Nimmo. I would offer reynaldo Lopez, carlos rodon, dunning/stiever, adolfo/basabe, and bush/colome. Who would says no? Reason for this is rodon has 2 years left on entry level deal and represented by boras so he is not coming back and wont be coming back until next year all star break. Lopez is a quality guy who would be a 3 on any other team and has 4 years of control left. Everything else is to sweeten the pot. Syndergaard only has 2 years left… Read more »

Aaron Sapoznik
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No doubt Nick Castellanos is a solid hitter. He defense is another matter altogether. Castellanos was poor at 3B and not much better in the OF with the Tigers. Because of this I do expect him to sign with an AL team this offseason in free agency where he can DH as well as continue playing some outfield. Because of his poor glove Castellanos would not be a great fit with the White Sox who already have defensively challenged Eloy Jimenez in LF. Luis Robert will have enough challenges when he makes his MLB debut with the White Sox next… Read more »

Aaron Sapoznik
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Ted Voight: There is little doubt that Nicholas Castellanos offers a solid bat to any lineup. His problem has always been with the glove. The Tigers moved him off of 3B because his defense was poor and he hasn’t fared much better in the OF. Because of this I do expect him to sign with an AL team this offseason in free agency where he can DH as well as continue playing some outfield. Due to his poor glove Castellanos would not be a great fit with the White Sox in RF. They already have defensively challenged Eloy Jimenez playing… Read more »

John Gibbons
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John Gibbons

Nimmo would be a great fit, and taking on the Cespedes contract is creative, but for 2020, J.D. Davis will likely move to 3B with Frazier gone as that’s his true position, so the Mets will not be squeezed in the outfield and are unlikely to subtract from their major league roster. The Sox do need a lefty outfielder and there is only one out there that is readily available and would not cost prospects: Corey Dickerson. Not a great fielder and probably out of position in RF, but he OPS-ed .906 this year, which would be second to Moncada… Read more »

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