New York Mets Had Bizarre Backup Plan If Nimmo Had Bolted

Brandon Nimmo was a top priority for the New York Mets this offseason. That could be evidenced by the over-the-top 8-year, $162M contract they gave him to stay. Manager Buck Showalter even identified him as perhaps the team's biggest re-signing priority. 

But if Nimmo had bolted, the Mets had a bizarre Plan B in mind for center field. 

As reported by Jon Heyman of The New York Post, the Mets would have tried to lure All-Star free agent shortstop Trea Turner to Queens, while asking him to switch to center field. 

Thing is, their own ace pitcher, Max Scherzer, a former longtime teammate of Turner's with the Washington Nationals, could have told Mets management straight up that their plan was doomed to failure.

“Trea didn’t like playing center field when he was in Washington,” Scherzer told Heyman. “He never wanted to do it again.”

In his second year in the big leagues, in 2016, Turner actually played 45 of his 73 games that season in center, and only 30 games at short. And as Scherzer suggested, he never played CF again, and in fact, played every single game at SS for the next five seasons in Washington. 

Turner did play second base after his trade to the Los Angeles Dodgers at the deadline in 2021, but that was only 49 games' worth. He was back at his natural position at short again in 2022.

Anyway, all's well that ends well—Nimmo is back roaming center field in Queens for the next eight years, while Turner has an 11-year, $300M contract to play short with the Philadelphia Phillies.

Photo: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports