According to Jeff Passan, CAA agent Brodie Van Wagenen has emerged as the favorite for the vacant general manager position and he is reportedly expected to accept the position. It was reported yesterday that Doug Melvin was out of the running which narrowed down the field to Van Wagenen and Chaim Bloom, and now it seems as though the position is Van Wagenen’s although nothing official has been announced.
This would be an unconventional hire for the Mets who have become stubbornly risk averse recently. They rely more on “knowns” especially when it comes to their hires. Perhaps last season was a sign that their strategy was changing when they hired Mickey Callaway who did not have any managerial experience when he interviewed for the position.
Like Callaway, Van Wagenen will not have any experience in this new role but that does not necessarily mean he is unqualified. Agents have to be well versed in many different aspects of the game including analytics if they are to represent their clients to the best of their abilities. However, there is a clear conflict of interest here and Van Wagenen will have to leave his agency if he does in fact become the next GM.
Preview (I wrote about this on Twitter a bit yesterday):— Sheryl Ring, Esq. (@Ring_Sheryl) October 26, 2018
The MLBPA agent rules absolutely prohibit an agent from accepting a job with a team.
Van Wagenen represents many current Mets including Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Todd Frazier, and Tim Tebow. He made waves during the All-Star break when he released a statement asking the Mets for a contract extension for his All-Star client deGrom but nothing ever came of it and with this new development it will be interesting to see what happens with both deGrom and the rest of his clients.
An agent becoming a general manager is not unheard of. It recently happened with the Lakers, and while basketball is a completely different sport it does show that it can be done. Baseball did run into a similar situation when former Diamondbacks’ GM Dave Stewart left his family agency to become the general manager.
I know there's a lot of consternation about BVW and the Mets and conflicts of interest but it's safe to say MLB will handle those conflicts of interest like they did when Dave Stewart was a GM and his wife took over his agency and had six clients within the org: hope it goes away— Craig Goldstein (@cdgoldstein) October 26, 2018
The Mets front office situation is still a bit muddled considering Omar Minaya, John Ricco, and JP Ricciardi are all still under the Wilpons’ employ but hopefully the situation will become clearer when Van Wagenen is officially hired.
No one knows for sure what type of general manager Van Wagenen will be, but the hiring may still be seen as a positive that this organization is willing to step outside of its comfort zone in an attempt to get it back on track.