As offseason rumors continue to circulate and connect George Springer to the New York Mets, it’s important to note a center fielder has been one of the team’s top needs for years. Instead of Brandon Nimmo traipsing out there, free agency leads to some stronger options both offensively and defensively for New York in 2021 and beyond.
The 31-year-old is a World Series champion with the Houston Astros (2017) and won World Series MVP that year after hitting a record-tying five home runs (Reggie Jackson and Chase Utley). He is also a three-time All-Star (2017-2019) and has two Silver Slugger Awards (2017 and 2019). Springer finished seventh in MVP voting in 2019 after posting a career-best 156 wRC+, .292 BA, .974 OPS, 39 home runs, and 6.5 fWAR.
Over his seven-year career, he has slashed .270/.361/.491 with 174 home runs, a 134 wRC+, and a career 26.6 fWAR. In 51 games in 2020 he slashed .265/.359/.540 with an .899 OPS, 14 home runs and 32 RBI. Throughout his tenure in MLB, he has only had an OPS lower than .800 over a season only once.
Defensively, despite costing the Astros five runs as a center fielder in 2018, he saved six runs in 2017, seven runs in 2019, and six runs in 2020. Contrarily, Nimmo has never had more than two runs saved in a season while playing any outfield position. As a center fielder, he has costed at least three runs per season since 2017, resulting in 14 defensive runs scored over the four seasons.
Not to mention, in a poll ran on the Guy NYC Sports Twitter account, fans voted in favor of signing Springer over starting pitcher Trevor Bauer.
If Springer is signed, Nimmo would shift over to left field, a position he is historically better at. Over the course of his five seasons with the Mets, he has costed only one run while saving six defensive runs, per FanGraphs.
This move makes a lot of sense for Sandy Alderson, Steve Cohen, and the Mets organization as a whole. Reports continue to link the two together, and it is definitely something many fans would welcome in Queens next season.
(Photo: Steve Gonzales/Houston Chronicle)