Cubs not 'a serious player' for free agent Brandon Nimmo

New York Mets v Atlanta Braves
New York Mets v Atlanta Braves / Todd Kirkland/GettyImages

We know the Cubs plan on adding from outside the organization to address a center field hole that's more or less existed since 2017 - when Dexter Fowler departed in free agency, joining the Cardinals. Despite that fact though, Chicago isn't expected to make a run at one of the top outfield options available in Brandon Nimmo.

According to Patrick Mooney and Sahadev Sharma of The Athletic (subscription required), the Cubs are not viewed as 'a serious player' for Nimmo's services this winter, despite an obvious fit. Jed Hoyer and Carter Hawkins don't want to put a long-term obstacle in the way of top prospect Pete Crow-Armstrong, who put together a breakout season in his first full year with the organization in 2022.

Last season with the Mets, Nimmo, 29, turned in 5.0 bWAR, leading the league with seven triples and slashing .274/.367/.433. He posted a career-low 17.3 percent strikeout rate and he ranked well above average in just about every Baseball Savant category, evidenced by his chart that's loaded with red.

MLB Trade Rumors calls him 'one of the most patient hitters in the sport' and expects him to land a five-year deal in the $110 million range this winter. The Mets, who drafted him way back in the first round of the 2011 MLB Draft, could bring him back - but are rumored to have interest in another former New York outfielder, Michael Conforto, as well.

Cubs not looking to block Pete Crow-Armstrong long-term

The corner outfield spots at locked down with Gold Glover Ian Happ in left and Seiya Suzuki returning to man right. But center field is wide open, especially after Brennen Davis suffered a setback in his recovery from back surgery this year and Alexander Canario's freak combo injury of a fractured left ankle and separated left shoulder this fall.

There are plenty of options out there that could hold things down, but I personally think the trade route is a likelier solution. Arizona is known to be shopping outfielders, so keep an eye on the Diamondbacks as a potential trade partner. We're also, of course, waiting to see what the Dodgers do with Cody Bellinger ahead of the upcoming non-tender deadline. The last thing I want to see is someone like Albert Almora or Jackie Bradley Jr., both of whom have near-unplayable bats at this point.

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But, as appears to be the case on the shortstop market, the Cubs aren't shopping at the very top of the market. Having money to spend (and lots of it) isn't going to alter Hoyer's dedication to 'intelligent spending' - meaning Nimmo is probably a no-go for Chicago.