Brodie Van Wagenen

From BR Bullpen

Brodie Van Wagenen (born c. 1970) became General Manager of the New York Mets after the 2018 season, following a career as a high profile player agent.

He was the lead baseball agent of Creative Agents Agency, a leading talent representation firm. Among his major clients have been Ryan Howard, Robinson Cano and Ryan Zimmerman.

He was one of a number of voices raising concerns in the 2017-2018 off-season over the slow pace of free agent signings, hinting in early February 2018 that the situation was a sign of collusion and that players may well decide to boycott the start of spring training if things did not improve.

In October 2018, he was rumored to be one of three finalists for the role of GM of the Mets. A number of observers were quick to point out that such a move, while not entirely unprecedented, would come with a number of potential conflicts of interests, as he would now be in a position to negotiate against players who had previously confided in him. Also a challenge was the fact he had no front office experience, although he was obviously intimately familiar with the business side of baseball. The Mets confirmed his hiring on October 29th. He quickly became a focus of attention for the Mets, pulling off a number of bold moves in his first off-season, such as the acquisition of his former client Cano and Edwin Diaz in a trade with the Seattle Mariners, or the signing of free agents Jed Lowrie and Wilson Ramos.

Following an unsuccessful 2019 season which was marked by injuries and internal tensions in the team, he fired manager Mickey Callaway, with whom he had had a very public tantrum in mid-season, and replaced him with Carlos Beltran. But before Beltran could manage a game, he was forced to resign, his name being at the center of the sign-stealing scandal around the 2017 Houston Astros. He was replaced by Luis Rojas, son of Felipe Alou. The 2020 season was then upended by the Coronavirus pandemic, a season-ending injury to P Noah Syndergaard, and the abrupt retirement of DH Yoenis Cespedes a couple of days into the season. The Mets then had to sit out a few games due to some members of the team testing positive for COVID-19, and on August 27th, they staged a powerful walk-out, alongside their opponents that day, the Miami Marlins, after taking the field and observing a 42-second moment of silence. Following that non-game, he was caught on a microphone criticizing Commissioner Rob Manfred for suggesting the game still be played after a pause, due to scheduling concerns. "At leadership level, he doesn't get it. He just doesn't get it," was his comment. It turned out it wasn't Manfred who had suggested this, but Mets Chief Operations Officer Jeff Wilpon. He apologized to the Commissioner when he learned this, but obviously these remarks had created a distinct chill with the team's top brass, who issued their own statement chastising the GM for his inconsiderate words, and observers were wondering if Van Wagenen had not just dug his own grave.

As soon as the ink was dry on the sale of the Mets to multi-billionaire Steven Cohen on November 6th, he was fired along with four of his closest collaborators in a front-office clean-out.


Preceded by
Sandy Alderson
New York Mets General Manager
2018-2020
Succeeded by
tba

Further Reading[edit]

  • Anthony DiComo: "Mets part ways with Van Wagenen, others", mlb.com, November 6, 2020. [1]
  • Matt Ehalt: "Mets to name Brodie Van Wagenen next GM, and agents have questions", USA Today, October 28, 2018. [2]
  • Richard Justice: "Van Wagenen could be model for modern GMs: Agent-to-executive path reflects baseball in the 21st century", mlb.com, October 30, 2018. [3]
  • Gabe Lacques: "Agent Brodie Van Wagenen accuses MLB owners of collusion, threatens spring training boycott", USA Today Sports, February 2, 2018. [4]
  • Bob Nightengale: "Mets make strangest GM hire in baseball history with Brodie Van Wagenen", USA Today, October 30, 2018. [5]
  • Bob Nightengale: "New Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen not sorry for brash winter", USA Today, March 13, 2019. [6]
  • Bob Nightengale: "Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen's latest embarrassment could be the beginning of his end", USA Today, August 27, 2020. [7]

Related Sites[edit]