Before the Mets announced Brodie Van Wagenen as the club’s new general manager on Monday, the 44-year-old was an agent with Creative Artists Agency, representing clients such as Robinson Canó, Tim Tebow, and Jacob deGrom. deGrom’s teammates Todd Frazier, Jason Vargas, and Noah Syndergaard are also represented by CAA.
Van Wagenen had, for a couple weeks, been rumored to be among the finalists for the vacant GM position. Last week, fellow agent Scott Boras said it would be a conflict of interest for an agent to become a GM, though the transition is not without precedent. In an effort to remove that conflict of interest, MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo reports that Van Wagenen has divested himself from his business interests affiliated with his now-former agency. That means that if the Mets are able to sign deGrom to a contract extension, Van Wagenen won’t receive any portion of it as he would have previously.
Dave Stewart did the same thing when he went from being an agent to GM of the Diamondbacks in 2014, transferring control of the agency to his friend Dave Henderson.
The Yankees appear to have moved on from free agent Manny Machado this winter, but could they be turning their attention to Rockies superstar Nolan Arenado? That’s the idea floated by Andy Martino of SNY, who hears that GM Brian Cashman has been involved in recent discussions concerning the third baseman. No official comments have been made to the press yet, though, and it’s not clear whether the Yankees would prefer to pursue Arenado prior to the 2019 season or partway through it.
The 27-year-old infielder earned his fourth consecutive All-Star nomination, Silver Slugger, and Gold Glove award in 2018 after slashing .297/.374/.561 with 38 home runs, a .935 OPS, and 5.7 fWAR across 673 plate appearances. There’s no question he’s provided immense value to Colorado’s lineup over the last half-decade, and his consistency and incredible power at the plate helped form the basis of the record $30 million arbitration figure he presented to the team last week. The Rockies countered at $24 million, however, and in doing so may have jeopardized their chances of convincing the infielder to forego free agency in 2020 and take a long-term deal instead.
Assuming he declines to negotiate an extension with the Rockies, Arenado’s decorated résumé and career-best 2018 numbers should attract plenty of interest around the league — a reality that could put considerable pressure on the Yankees (or any other interested party) to finesse a deal sooner rather than later. For now, the club is prepared to enter the 2019 season with hot-hitting third baseman Miguel Andújar, whom Martino speculates would be the “centerpiece” of any trade with Colorado.