For a nice change of pace, there is a rumor circulating that is connecting the SF Giants to an outfielder other than Aaron Judge. According to Jon Heyman of the NY Post, the Giants are among the teams interested in longtime New York Mets outfielder Brandon Nimmo.
Rumor: SF Giants remain interested in speedy outfielder
Heyman adds that the Mets, Tampa Bay Rays, and the Toronto Blue Jays are interested in Nimmo as well. The New York Yankees could be involved in the bidding if Judge signs elsewhere like, I don't know, the Giants?
This is not the first time that the Giants have been connected to Nimmo this offseason and the fit makes sense. San Francisco is prepared to run out an outfield group that includes Mike Yastrzemski, Austin Slater, LaMonte Wade Jr., and Luis González.
Joc Pederson could see some time in left field as well, but may be better served as the team's DH given how poorly he performed with the glove in 2022.
Those are solid role players, but the Giants' roster is pretty fungible in the sense that no one is really solidified into any one role. That is, they can upgrade just about any area on the roster.
Nimmo would be a substantial upgrade. That said, it would be a bittersweet pill to swallow that if landing him means that Aaron Judge is signing elsewhere.
The longtime Mets outfielder is coming off of a very nice season, meaning that he is looking to land a massive payday in free agency. The Mets issued him a qualifying offer, which he rejected. If he signs elsewhere, then the Mets would receive a compensatory pick.
Nimmo slashed .274/.367/.433 (130 OPS+) with 16 home runs, 64 RBI, and 102 runs in 673 plate appearances. This includes a very solid 10.6 percent walk rate against a 17.2 percent strikeout rate, so he brings that rare quality of good plate discipline and above-average contact skills.
Not only that, but Nimmo reached base by way of the hit by a pitch in 2.3 percent of his plate appearances in 2022. Some players just have a knack for reaching base. Of course, the Giants' front office puts a lot of value in reaching base, so Nimmo's .385 on-base percentage in seven seasons will definitely stand out.
Nimmo has seen a lot of time in center field, but the defensive metrics are mixed on his performance with the glove. He has been worth -11 Defensive Runs Saved (DRS) and +8 Outs Above Average (OAA) as a center fielder. Perhaps, a move to a corner outfield spot would make sense down the road.
For a team that struggled as much on defense as the Giants in 2022, the addition of Nimmo would really help them a lot in that regard.
It bears mentioning that the 29-year-old outfielder has plenty of durability concerns as well as he has appeared in over 100 games just twice in his career. One of those seasons was in 2022, which seems to always happen in a contract year.
The Giants' front office has often had an appetite for injury risk, so Nimmo's injury history may not scare them at all. The left-handed bat is likely in the market for a five-year deal, which would represent the largest contract that this front office has handed out. Are the Giants ready to buck the trend regarding long-term contracts? That remains to be seen.