Time will tell.
OK – you’ve heard that one before.
But it’s especially fitting when taking a look at Brodie Van Wagenen being named the New York Mets’ new General Manager.
So we decided to talk with our baseball guy, Dave Pepe, about his thoughts.
Dave is no slouch to baseball. His dad was the lead baseball writer for the Daily News. Dave grew up in ballparks.
His partner is Billy Martin…JR. Yes, son of the former Yankee…and Yankee manager.
Van Wagenen made his name in baseball as an MLB agent and, prior to accepting the role as GM with the Mets, was a co-head of Creative Artist Agency’s Baseball Division. The 44-year old built his career on relationships.
While the MLB has a significant population of young GMs that are analytics driven, the Mets decided to hire someone who the organization has established a strong relationship with over the years: Van Wagenen. Maybe the pendulum is swinging back??
There’s no question that Van Wagenen formed a robust rapport with the Mets, as six of the players on the team’s 2018 25-man roster were represented by him.
Two of the six are 2014 NL Rookie of the Year and two-time All-Star pitcher Jacob DeGrom and 2016 All-Star pitcher Noah Syndergaard. Much of the controversy surrounding Van Wagenen being named GM has to do with these two guys.
As DeGrom enters his third year of arbitration and Syndergaard goes into his second, Van Wagenen and the Mets will be scrutinized about the appearance of impropriety.
They’ll have to build a “Chinese Wall” around Brodie, just as banks and law firms have done for years to guard against conflicts.
This will undoubtedly be tricky territory for all parties involved, as the role of GM encompasses overseeing these hearings. But we’re told the organization is steadfast that it will work.
Whether or not Van Wagenen stays away from the cases dealing with two of the Mets’ best players and his former clients is going to be something to keep an eye on.
Another element to keep in mind is that Van Wagenen has always been known as an agent that gets really good deals for his clients and less-so for the clubs. It will be interesting to see how – forgive us for another cliché, but – the tables will turn.
Kudos to the Mets for going outside of the box. And per Dave Pepe, Brodie’s experience in building relationships will be paramount to his success.
And oh yes…we and Dave have some players we think you might be interested in.