The once-proud Daily News is reporting Saturday that the Mets have a deal in place to hire CAA agent Brodie Van Wagenen as their next general manager. An announcement will not be made until MLB lifts its no-major-announcements-during-the-World-Series policy.
I don’t know how to feel about this. On one hand, the Mets went out of the box on this thing (or did they? — more on that in a moment). After years of safe and boring hires, they went out and got someone who could have a very high upside.
On the other hand, the potential downside could be severe. They are apparently choosing a person who has never worked for a major league team, let alone run a significant part of one. And then there are the myriad of conflicts of interests. Van Wagenen represents seven players on the Mets roster, including Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard, both of whom will be looking for huge deals over the next few years. How does Van Wagenen negotiate with their new representatives, likely another agent at CAA? Not to mention the inside information he surely has on his former clients.
Also not to mention that over the summer, Van Wagenen pushed for the Mets to sign deGrom long-term. Will he act on the statement he made on behalf of his former client, even though it would cost his current employers nine figures?
Then there is the fact that just this year, Brodie Van Wagenen accused MLB owners of collusion to keep free agent prices down. Now that he is part of management, what does he say — “just kidding, guys”?
Back to that box out of which the Mets allegedly stepped. The Wilpons are frequently accused of sticking with people they know best (the return of Omar Minaya is a prime example). Well, Van Wagenen is someone with whom the Wilpons are apparently comfortable, having negotiated with him for years. So as far as knowing the person, it is standard operating procedure for the Wilpons. In that respect, Chaim Bloom, a stranger to the Mets owners, would have been more out of the box.
Speaking of Bloom, I find it funny that so many Mets fans are still clamoring for him. I’m sure he’s a bright guy and might make a fine GM, but we know nothing about him. It reminds me of the love the previously unknown Mickey Callaway received when he was hired. Then we saw him in action.
In any case, it appears Brodie Van Wagenen will be the next Mets GM. Let’s hope he is the right choice.