HomeSportsMets re-sign Brandon Nimmo, add veteran reliever as payroll hits record: report

Mets re-sign Brandon Nimmo, add veteran reliever as payroll hits record: report


The “Steve Cohen tax” is the highest level of luxury tax a team can get on payroll in MLB, and the owner of the New York Mets lives up to it.

Cohen and the Mets dished out another lucrative deal, re-signing their former first-round pick, outfielder Brandon Nimmo, for $162 million over the next eight seasons, according to ESPN.

Cohen was not done. The Mets reportedly signed veteran reliever David Robertson to a one-year deal worth $10 million.

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David Robertson #30 of the Philadelphia Phillies throws a pitch against the Miami Marlins at LoanDepot Park on September 13, 2022 in Miami, Florida.
(Megan Briggs/Getty Images)

With those contracts, the Mets have an estimated $333 million Opening Day payroll, according to Spotrac, a number the Los Angeles Dodgers haven’t even touched with their star-studded roster over the years.

However, that’s not the total number Cohen will have to pay. There are now four luxury tax thresholds after the new Collective Bargaining Agreement between MLB and the MLBPA was agreed to before last season.

Because Cohen wasn’t afraid to show his financial strength after buying the Mets, he was the likely candidate to hit the fourth tier, which is an 80% excess for first-time taxpayers and a 90% excess for second-time taxpayers. time.

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Cohen had to pay luxury taxes after the Mets’ payroll reached roughly $261 million last year, though that falls into Tier Two (32% surplus).

Spotrac estimates Cohen’s tax bill to be $65 million, or a grand total of $395 million for the 2023 season.

And here’s the best part: The Mets may not be done adding more players.

Brandon Nimmo #9 of the New York Mets catches a ball off the wall with the bat of Justin Turner of the Los Angeles Dodgers in the seventh inning at Citi Field on August 31, 2022 in New York City.

Brandon Nimmo #9 of the New York Mets catches a ball off the wall with the bat of Justin Turner of the Los Angeles Dodgers in the seventh inning at Citi Field on August 31, 2022 in New York City.
(Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

There’s a chance the Mets still want to add another bat to their lineup. A bona fide DH like JD Martinez is still off the free agent market and could be a perfect fit as someone who primarily hits with the option to start in the outfield if necessary.

But after losing Jacob deGrom, who decided to sign a five-year contract with the Texas Rangers rather than return to the Mets, New York was quick to snatch the 2022 AL Cy Young market winner: Justin Verlander.

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The right-hander signed a massive two-year, $86 million contract that works out to $43 million per season, a mark below the average annual value Max Scherzer throws over the next two seasons.

Simply put, the Mets are in winning mode now and it’s clear Cohen sees that window and is doing his best to land the best team in Flushing, Queens, at least this season.

The Mets selected Nimmo in the first round of the 2011 MLB Draft and he has been an on-base machine for them since he debuted in 2016.

Nimmo owns a .385 on-base percentage over his seven-year career, hitting .269 with a .441 slugging percentage and an .827 OPS. His calling card is hustle no matter the situation, even if a pitcher walked him. That top-of-the-lineup mentality has been something the Mets relish and clearly don’t want to see elsewhere in MLB.

Houston Astros starting pitcher Justin Verlander pitches against the Chicago White Sox on August 16, 2022 at Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago.

Houston Astros starting pitcher Justin Verlander pitches against the Chicago White Sox on August 16, 2022 at Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago.
(Armando L. Sánchez/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

Nimmo’s defensive play also took a step up last season, as Buck Showalter felt confident with him in center field despite previous seasons of shaky play.

Injuries have also been a problem for Nimmo in recent seasons, but he was able to play 151 games last year and Cohen expects the availability to continue throughout this new contract.

As for Robertson, he joins a bullpen that needed more back-end guys and lockdowns like Edwin Diaz, who quickly re-signed with the Mets after his All-Star campaign in 2021.

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This will be Robertson’s 38-year-old season, but he pitched a 2.40 ERA with the Chicago Cubs and Philadelphia Phillies last season in 63.2 innings, proving he still has what it takes in high-pressure situations.

The Mets won 101 games last season to clinch the NL East title, but lost to the San Diego Padres in the wild-card round at Citi Field in three games.

Brandon Nimmo #9 of the New York Mets reacts after making a catch in the seventh inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Citi Field on August 31, 2022 in New York City.

Brandon Nimmo #9 of the New York Mets reacts after making a catch in the seventh inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Citi Field on August 31, 2022 in New York City.
(Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

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They missed out on a World Series run, but they are equipped once again to dominate the National League and will likely be an early favorite to take home their first title since 1986.



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