These days, the Mets are all you can count on to do something that will make you laugh and cry at the same time. Sure enough, they’re at it again with their choice of a prospective GM…
With one swipe of a pen, the New York Mets are on the verge of pissing off Jacob deGrom, Scott Boras and a host of other player agents, Noah Syndergaard, Brandon Nimmo, and Tony Clark, the head of the Major League Player’s Association (MLBPA). Chances are Mets fans would be up in arms too if the name Brodie Van Wagenen, the latest “frontrunner” as the new Mets GM, meant anything to them.
Miraculously, just when we thought the Mets hunt for a general manager to replace ailing Sandy Alderson couldn’t get more bizarre, it has. Not to mention the host of qualified candidates who declined to even be interviewed for the job as they pondered working for Fred and Jeff Wilpon, we’ve stood by with mouths agape as the first frontrunner, Dave Littlefield was summarily and thankfully dismissed, and Doug Melvin fell to the wayside after touching what is apparently a third rail with the Mets, when he had the audacity to publicly wonder if Mickey Callaway has what it takes to be a big league manager.
Now, other than the fact the 44-year-old Van Wagenen has zero front office experience (making him an ideal pawn for the Wilpons), we learn Van Wagenen is also the agent for a slew of Mets players, including deGrom, Syndergaard, Todd Frazier, and Yoenis Cespedes.
Imagine that the lawyer defending you in a criminal case suddenly gets appointed as the trial judge. Where would that leave you? So here we have Van Wagenen, who is privy to the most secret thoughts a player can have – and now he will be sitting on the other side of the table as the Mets GM during contract negotiations with these same players. Only the Mets are capable of dreaming up a scenario as precarious as this.
Thus, it’s no wonder Tony Clark is up in arms as he represents the players and tries to find the right words to fire a shot across the bow if the Mets, indeed, hire Van Wagenen:
In the same report, Clark hinted the players’ concern is that Van Wagenen may use “confidential information” he gathered as an agent against them in future negotiations. What a wonderful way for the Mets to engage their probable Cy Young award winner, Jacob deGrom.
Aside from the obvious almighty dollar, a valid question is also why Van Wagenen would accept the position with the Mets, while virtually crippling the association he has with two major partners in their player-agent business.
If hired, it’s almost a certainty all of the Mets he currently represents would flee to other agents (hello Scott Boras). And don’t think for a minute Boras and others aren’t licking their chops at the possibility of crushing the traitor in their ranks at the negotiating table, with Van Wagenen on the other side of the table.
How many times and in how many ways can we describe the Mets as a dysfunctional major league franchise? There appears to be no end to the folly of “Ya Gotta Believe” when almost every time a Mets fan turns around; there’s a slap in the face waiting.
Hopefully, the World Series goes seven games, prohibiting the Mets from making an announcement during the series unless they do it Monday, a travel day. Extra time is needed for the team to think this through. Assuming, of course, the Mets can think…
Written by Steve Contursi, Editor
Reflections On Baseball