Brandon Nimmo has carved out a nice career for himself as a New York Met. Before his career really got off the ground though, he nearly became a Cincinnati Red.
Nimmo has spent the entirety of his career with the Mets, who used a first-round pick on him in 2011. He broke into the majors in June of 2016, and shortly after debuting he almost got sent to Cincinnati.
Then just 23, Nimmo had been living at the Westin near Grand Central Station since he wasn’t a full-time big leaguer yet. As he hung out with his family before heading to the field, Nimmo saw on TV that he was being included in a trade that would send Jay Bruce from Cincinnati to New York.
It was at that point he decided to head to the stadium to try to collect his belongings and get to Cincinnati. That's when things got a little unusual, he recalled during an appearance on Audacy's Baseball Isn't Boring.
“Ethan (Wilson) and Jay Horowitz, at the time, they kind of said hey, don’t go into the locker room. We don’t know what’s happening yet," Nimmo said. "I was like, you don’t know what’s happening? It’s announced on national television.
“They were like we don’t know, it’s not through yet. So I just sat outside the locker room and waited. And then finally, stretch was coming around for batting practice and I said 'Do I go out?' And they said yeah, we’ll bring you your stuff and you’ll go out to stretch.
“So I grabbed my stuff, go out to stretch and when I came back from stretch, I learned that they’ve now substituted me and Chris (Flexen) for Dilson Herrera. It was just like OK, so I guess I’m a Met.”
It was a flurry of emotions for Nimmo, who already had gone as far as coordinating plans for his family to get out to Cincinnati – only to end the day as he started it, as a Met.
“I went through this whole whirlwind of emotions where it was like OK, the team that I have been with, that I just debuted with, that I was in their minor league system, I don’t know anything other than this," Nimmo said. "I had just kind of come to the realization that OK, I’m going to another team and this will be a great opportunity to play and whatever.
“And then all of the sudden at the end of the day you’re still with that team, and it was announced on national television (earlier that I wasn't). So OK, now how do I backtrack?”
Bruce would ultimately play 247 games with the Mets across two stints following the trade from the Reds. Herrera would appear in just 53 games with the Mets.
For Nimmo, staying in New York and becoming teammates with Bruce had a big impact on his career.
"It ended up being great because Jay Bruce ended up being a mentor to me that I use to this day," Nimmo said. "I use things that he and I would talk about, and he really took me under his wing and was so good to me. But it was a weird situation."