Have the Mets finally found their new man to run the show?
Since 2010, New York Mets fans have lived through the same old Sandy Alderson dynasty, a system that was built on a mixture between old school baseball and new school analytics. At times, Alderson’s plans seemed to be logical, and even brought the Mets to their first world series in over a decade in 2015. However, many times fans were left scratching their heads after certain decisions, wondering what in the world was going on over in the front office of Citi Field. The eight and a half years Sandy spent with the Mets were full of mountainous highs and bottomless lows that would leave #MetsTwitter fuming, but now that he has stepped down due to health issues, a new outside hire has taken over command of the franchise: Brodie Van Wagenen.
Brodie Van Wagenen, former top-level baseball agent with Creative Artists Agency (CAA), was hired to be the General Manager of the Mets on October 29, 2018. It was a long and overly-drawn search that included baseball minds like old-school mustachio man Doug Melvin and analytical messiah Chaim Bloom, but after months of looking, the Mets decided to go with the one guy of the bunch who had absolutely no baseball front office experience whatsoever.
Are you surprised? I sure as hell am not. This is the same ownership group that got Ponzi-ed out by all-time sleazeball Bernie Madoff. But let’s not judge the Wilpons too hard, anyone could’ve fallen for that one. I mean, wouldn’t you trust your millions of dollars with this guy?
Regardless of the ethics of hiring a former sports agent who used to represent a sizeable portion of your employed athletes, the Mets have handed over the keys to Brodie with the intention of shaking up the status quo. The organization has been bashed over the last two years for putting the same team on the field expecting different results, and the Wilponzis finally put their big boy pants on and hired a different mind to run the ship.
From a staffing standpoint, Van Wagenen has done spectacularly at filling out his cabinet thus far. Already he has hired an experienced National League manager in Jim Riggleman to assist American League-minded manager Mickey Calaway as his bench coach, as well as lured prized executive Allard Baird away from the Kansas City Royals to be the Mets’ new VP and Assistant (to the) General Manager for Scouting and Player Development.
What’s BVW going to do player-wise? Who can really say. But from the rumors that are circulating around the MLB, he’s ready to hit the ground running. In less than a month since hanging up his first picture in his new office, the Mets have already been viewed as aggressive suitors to trade for all-stars Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz from the Seattle Mariners. Additionally, on the flip side of player movement, Van Wagenen seems intent on shipping out young phenom and fan favorite Noah Syndergaard, whose flaming fastball and lucious locks rightfully earned him the nickname “Thor”.
To be perfectly candid, I have absolutely no idea what the new GM is trying to do in his first year in control. He has been quoted in interviews as wanting to build a competitive team in 2019, and yet he seems perfectly willing to trade away exciting major-league talent like Thor or Jeff McNeil, who had a breakout 2018 with the Mets that produced a stunning slash line of .329/.381/.471 with an OPS of .852. Moves like that indicate that a team is ready to relieve itself of win-now talent in order to rebuild, but then he’s also ready to sell the farm system in order to get back talent that can help the team win this year? Either the man is a baseball guru of the likes we have never seen, or he is falling trap to trying too hard to make a big splash in his first year as GM.
Only time will tell with how BVW will shape this Mets team, but what he has yet to experience is the absolute wrath of #MetsTwitter. If he does one thing that they don’t like, he’ll become Public Enemy #1 until the team sees a World Series banner hung up.
However, one thing is for certain that everyone can agree on, and that’s that Brodie Van Wagenen is refusing to be a stick in the mud. He was hired to have a different mentality, and by god he’s coming out guns blazing. Power to you, Brodie. Bring the chip back home to Queens.
Purveyor of truth. Breaker of chains. Foolish fan of the Mets, Jets, and Knicks.