I’m totally okay with that. It’s good to have a confident, charismatic guy calling the shots. However, with that being said, it’s still the New York Mets.
— New York Mets (@Mets) October 29, 2018
Today at Citi Field, the Mets officially introduced Brodie Van Wagenen as their next general manager. Van Wagenen, formerly a highly successful baseball agent, made it clear that he aims to have the Mets contending every year, and while he has work to do, he is confident in meeting that goal.
Any other fanbase would be stoked to hear this, but as stated above, it’s the Mets, so how long until this turns into a disaster? The hiring of Van Wagenen alone has New York fans terrified. While I too was nervous at this different hire, I did what any rational Mets fan should do before hitting the panic (cuncel) button; I weighed the pros and cons.
What terrified me about Van Wagenen right off the bat is the fact that he has zero background in scouting or player development, two key areas that any GM should have some experience in.
However, luckily for Brodie, he is entering a front office with Omar Minaya, one of the best in the business in those fields. With Minaya and Terry Collins running the scouting and player development, Van Wagenen will be able to ease into that role.
What also made me nervous about Van Wagenen is his ability to handle the vicious New York media. This is something that’s hard to do for any rookie GM, let alone one with zero front office experience. However, as a former agent, having a dialogue with multiple parties is something he excels in. Also, if he stays on, longtime assistant GM John Ricco should help Van Wagenen along in the Big Apple.
There’s also been talk about Van Wagenen’s former agent status creating a potential conflict of interest when attempting to sign former clients. Knowing this, the Wilpons have put provisions in his contract that will allow them to intervene in negotiations with former clients if a possible conflict should arise.
Other than the personal relationships Van Wagenen had with his clients, there is not much more that will create a conflict of interest. Van Wagenen is no longer an agent with the agency CAA, effectively terminating the fiduciary agreement he had with his now former clients. Also, his former clients all supported his decision so I’ll hand the floor over to my friend Billy Madison.
Thank you, Billy.
It’s also worth noting that these concerns were mainly raised by Scott Boras, a former rival of Van Wagenen’s and notorious New York Mets hater, so who cares? Van Wagenen’s former partner at CAA already downplayed the idea of there being a conflict of interest. Do I need to get Billy back out here? Didn’t think so.
What Mets fans should be excited about with Brodie Van Wagenen is his deep knowledge of the market and his ability to negotiate. Remember, this guy was regarded as one of the best agents in baseball who got huge contracts for players like Robinson Cano and Yoenis Cespedes. He knows a player’s value and what they’re worth.
Although the roles are reversed, Van Wagenen will be excellent when it comes to negotiating deals with free agents and rival GMs. If the Wilpons give him some financial liberty, this could be a big offseason for the Mets.
The Mets confirm: Brodie Van Wagenen's wife's stepfather was the late astronaut Neil Armstrong. 👨🚀🌙
— Anthony DiComo (@AnthonyDiComo) October 29, 2018
Yeah, Van Wagenen’s also related to an American icon. No big deal.
Ultimately, while Mets fans have every right to be skeptical of such an out-of-the-box hire, they need to give Van Wagenen a chance to succeed. Yes, it’s different, but it could pan out tremendously. We will just have wait and see what this overconfident man will do.
New Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen: “We will win now. We will win in the future. We’re going to develop a winning culture and a winning mindset, and we will deliver this city and this fanbase a team they can be proud of.”
— Anthony DiComo (@AnthonyDiComo) October 30, 2018
Please deliver, Brodie. We’re all counting on you.
Photo: Mets Merized Online