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BCB After Dark: Is Nimmo the solution in center?

The late-night/early-morning spot for Cubs fans asks if you think the Cubs should sign center fielder Brandon Nimmo.

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NY Mets Brandon Nimmo points to dugout after hitting RBI single Photo by J. Conrad Williams, Jr./Newsday RM via Getty Images

Welcome back to BCB After Dark: the coolest hangout for night owls, early-risers, new parents and Cubs fans abroad. Thank you for stopping by this evening. Come on in. There are still a few tables available. Please tell us if you need anything. Bring your own beverage.

BCB After Dark is the place for you to talk baseball, music, movies, or anything else you need to get off your chest, as long as it is within the rules of the site. The late-nighters are encouraged to get the party started, but everyone else is invited to join in as you wake up the next morning and into the afternoon.

In Game 3 of the World Series tonight, the Phillies thumped the Astros 7-0 thanks to five home runs off of Houston starter Lance McCullers Jr. Even I didn’t stick around for the end of this one. The Phillies now lead the Series, two games to one.

Last night I asked you if you thought free agent catcher Christian Vázquez would be a good fit of the Cubs, should Willson Contreras leave as a free agent, as expected. A majority of 54 percent of you thought that would be a good idea and only nine percent thought it was a bad idea. The rest, 37 percent, were pretty ambivalent about the whole thing.

On Tuesday night/Wednesday mornings, I don’t do a movie essay. But please go back and read what I wrote last night on James Whale’s 1934 classic The Bride of Frankenstein. I know it was a bad idea to write that much on a low-traffic night, but I just couldn’t resist getting it in while it was still the Halloween season.

But I always have time for some jazz, so those of you who skip that can do so now. You won’t hurt my feelings.

Sometimes I will play the hits, but like Dr. Johnny Fever, only when I’m in the mood and feel like it. Of course, in the jazz world, what is defined as a “hit” is a bit different than it is in the pop world, but there are jazz charts.

This is a track from the album that sits at number one on the Jazzweek charts, New Standards, Vol. 1 by drummer Terri Lyne Carrington. This is part of her project to right a wrong in the jazz world—the domination of male songwriters. Carrington went through “The Real Book,” the collection of jazz standards that every good jazz musician should be familiar with, and discovered that there was just one song in there written by a woman.

So Carrington has been collecting female-written tunes for jazz for her own book and she recorded some of them on this album. This is “Throw it Away,” written by the great vocalist Abbey Lincoln. It features Kris Davis on piano, Linda May Han Oh on bass, Nicholas Payton on trumpet and Matthew Stevens on guitar.

Welcome back to everyone who skips the jazz.

At the stroke of midnight last night (Eastern Time, so 9pm on Halloween on the West Coast), the Christmas music started up. So I guess that means we can start out Christmas shopping for the Cubs. Or at least start writing up a wish list.

It’s no secret that the Cubs have a black hole in center field. In fact, they’ve had one there for several decades. Occasionally they get a Dexter Fowler or a Bob Dernier who holds down the position for two or three years, but the Cubs haven’t had the same player in that position for more than that since the days of Rick Monday. That’s the early-seventies, for those of you too young to remember that.

The hope is that one of the kids down on the farm will take over that spot, with Pete Crow-Armstrong being the most-likely candidate at the moment. But if the Cubs want to contend in 2023 (and they should), they’re going to need someone out there better than what they have now.

The number one center field free agent is Aaron Judge, but he’s going to cost a ton off his record-setting 2022 season. There’s also likely to be a bidding war for his services between the Yankees, Giants and maybe the Dodgers.

So if the Cubs rule out making a major commitment in Judge, someone a little more affordable is Mets center fielder Brandon Nimmo. Nimmo is a quality hitter—his career slash line is .274/.385/.441 and that’s with playing half of his games in pitcher-friendly Citi Field. He draws a lot of walks and struck out in just 17 percent of his plate appearances last season. On defense, he’s at least average in center field and maybe a bit better than that. He could play center until someone like Crow-Armstrong was ready and then make the shift to left field easily enough.

On the other hand, while Nimmo isn’t going to command as much money as the other New York center fielder, he’s not going to be cheap. Nimmo will probably want a five-year deal for more than $100 million.

On top of that, Nimmo’s health record is poor. Only twice during his six full seasons in the majors has Nimmo played over 100 games. Only three times has he even managed ninety. He was healthy in 2022 and played 151 games last year, however. It is possible that his injury track record means he doesn’t get a nine-figure offer, which would make him a potential bargain.

Maybe Nimmo figured out how to stay healthy last year. If he continues to produce like he did last season, he’d easily be worth $20 million a season. But if he only plays half a season for the foreseeable future, then he’s likely not worth the hassle.

At least one article linked Nimmo with the Cubs (The Athletic sub. req.), but that piece appears to be pure speculation by the writer rather than any inside knowledge. Still, it does make a bit of sense which is why the speculation is there.

So should the Cubs sign Brandon Nimmo? I’m not giving you a weasel option tonight. You’re going to have to say yes or no.


Should the Cubs sign free agent outfielder Brandon Nimmo?

This poll is closed

  • 30%
    (82 votes)
  • 69%
    (191 votes)
273 votes total Vote Now

Thank you so very much for stopping by. I hope we made the end of your day a little more pleasant. Please get home safely. Tip your waitstaff. And join us again tomorrow night for more BCB After Dark.