Anthony DiComo of MLB.com reports that the Mets will introduce Brodie Van Wagenen as the new general manager at a press conference some time tomorrow.
News that the Mets had decided on Van Wagenen and were just finalizing the details of his hiring had already circulated widely. In reality the Mets, per MLB’s preferences, were likely waiting for the World Series to end before announcing major offseason news.
Van Wagenen, 44, is leaving the CAA agency to take the Mets GM job. He was reported over the weekend to have been a favored candidate as early as the summer, ever since Sandy Alderson stepped away from his role due to health concerns. Rays senior VP of baseball operations, Chaim Bloom, and Brewers senior advisor and two-time GM Doug Melvin, were brought in as potential candidates as well, only to be rejected in favor of Van Wagenen.
As I wrote on Friday, there are potential conflicts of interest with Van Wagenen’s hiring, primarily due to his representing several current Mets players, including presumptive Cy Young candidate Jacob deGrom. Back in July, Van Wagenen said publicly that deGrom was worthy of receiving a long-term contract extension from the Mets and if they wouldn’t do it, they should trade him. One wonders if he’ll feel the same way now that he answers to the Fred and Jeff Wilpon, who will be cutting deGrom his checks. For what it’s worth, I’m not the only one wondering it.
Beyond those sorts of concerns, others around baseball are perplexed that the Mets would go with someone who, whatever his overall baseball expertise and business acumen, has no experience whatsoever with working in, let alone managing, a baseball front office. Then again, based on what we know about how the Mets front office works, it’s not at all clear that experience with other clubs would be applicable to running the Mets.
Will it work? Who knows. But leave it to the Mets to do something . . . unconventional.