Brodie Van Wagenen is filling holes in the Mets organization faster than Travis d’Arnaud accumulates days on the DL.
Working from top to bottom and in between, Van Wagenen is consciously removing the dysfunction that has plagued the Mets for far too long.
Van Wagenen’s most recent score comes once again from the Boston Red Sox organization with the announcement that Jared Banner has been hired as the New York Mets’ executive director of player development after more than a decade with the Red Sox.
This hiring comes on the heels of another grab from the Red Sox with Allen Baird joining the Mets as Van Wagenen’s Assistant General Manager.
Van Wagenen ‘s quick escalation in gaining respect around the league and it can be seen in Baird’s comments during his introduction to the media.
“I tell you, the leadership and the vision that Brodie has for this organization as a whole really played into this,” (Source: AP/Google)
Yes, the keyword is the vision. And as the Mets team assembles in Las Vegas for the annual Winter Meetings, Brodie Van Wagenen will be the most watched general manager of the moment, as expectations soar surrounding the belief that he is a man on a mission.
The addition and subtraction of players get the most attention, of course, but not to be underestimated are the moves Van Wagenen has made to bolster the front office.
The paltry presence of talent in the Mets farm system has hurt the team, not only on the field but in their ability to execute trades. Jared Banner’s charge will mainly come from this area, with an accent on player development.
Amed Rosario, as an example of past failures, has been forced to learn more at the big league level than he should have needed to, hurting both the Mets and himself.
A similar situation arises when first baseman, Peter Alonso, begins his career with the Mets while carrying baggage as a poor fielder. Assuming a player like Alonso is gifted athletically, where was the coaching necessary to help him improve his fielding?
Brodie Van Wagenen is going to check all the boxes when completing his staff, as well as filling out the 25 players who will take the field on Opening Day.
Coming from the Red Sox and even though salary figures for Baird and Banner have not been released, we can assume they did not come on the cheap. This could mean that Van Wagenen has broken through the barrier of Fred and Jeff Wilpon, a development that would be a remarkable achievement in and of itself.
Instead of that unlikely occurrence, Brodie Van Wagenen is not the type to give up. His vision of the Mets is forthright and straightforward – the Mets are winners. And if it’s valid that winning in baseball begins at the top and spreads to the bottom, then the Mets are on their way.
Van Wagenen brings his show to Las Vegas this week, where his 24/7 march to perfection will continue. Let it be said that legacies are not formed in a month, but if what we’ve seen from the Mets rookie GM is any indication of what lies ahead for the Mets, the teams in the National League East had better take notice.
Van Wagenen has his box of Legos and a blueprint in mind, and for Mets fans who have waited all this time for some semblance of order in the Mets franchise, at the moment, who could ask for more?
Written by Steve Contursi, Editor, Reflections On Baseball
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