The New York Mets have agreed to terms with long-time agent Brodie Van Wagenen to become the team’s next general manager, MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo reported on Sunday.
It will be made official during a press conference sometime this week after the 2018 World Series concludes.
Reports emerged on Friday that Van Wagenen was extended an offer for the position by the Mets, giving the 44-year-old the final decision on whether to accept or not. He beat out notable candidates such as former Texas Rangers and Milwaukee Brewers general manager Doug Melvin and Tampa Bay Rays vice president of baseball operations Chaim Bloom.
Van Wagenen has made his name in baseball as one of the game’s top agents at CAA, one of the most reputable agencies in baseball. He will relinquish his role as an agent now that he will become the Mets’ general manager.
He has an existing relationship with some of the biggest names on the Mets as he represents Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Yoenis Cespedes, Todd Frazier and Brandon Nimmo. He championed for deGrom to get a contract extension this season while the ace put together a Cy Young-worthy campaign. It would be expected that the topic will be one of the first things he addresses upon taking office.
There will also be the question of manager Mickey Callaway’s future as he struggled mightily during his first year in 2018.
However, MLB Players Association executive director Tony Clark revealed that players around the league are “alarmed” at the possibility of him becoming a GM because his close knowledge of clients could play a part in future negotiations down the road.
“I won’t tell you how many calls or how many texts I have gotten,” Clark said (h/t ESPN.com). “I will simply suggest to you that our membership is paying attention.”
It’s an unconventional move to see a super agent switch sides and become a general manager, which brings plenty of questions with the move. While Van Wagenen might now the right things to say when it comes to free-agent and contract negotiations, he will have to face off against agents that he worked against and might not be so willing to do business with.
There is also the matter of how he will handle himself on the trade market, too.
The Mets are coming off their second-straight losing season as a big-market ballclub being run like one that plays in a small town. It is now Van Wagenen’s job to navigate the franchise back toward relevancy.