On Tuesday, the New York Mets officially introduced Brodie Van Wagenen as general manager in a press conference at Citi Field. The Mets are only the second MLB franchise to hire an agent as their general manager. The Arizona Diamondbacks employed Joe Garagiola Jr. as their first agent prior to the 1998 season and hired Dave Stewart following the 2014 season.
The former co-head of baseball at Creative Artists Agency represented several current Mets, including Jacob deGrom, Yoenis Cespedes, Noah Syndergaard, Todd Frazier and Tim Tebow. Van Wagenen made $25 million in commissions last year, according to Forbes. Van Wagenen told the media in attendance at his press conference that he will make the players the priority going forward.
Van Wagenen said he discussed this move with deGrom and his other clients before accepting the Mets' general manager job. He also said he has divested from CAA and future contract commissions.
Brodie Van Wagenen says he discussed this move with Jacob deGrom and other clients before taking the Mets' GM job. He said there was "a tremendous amount of enthusiasm and support."— Anthony DiComo (@AnthonyDiComo) October 30, 2018
"I believe Jacob deGrom is an incredible talent and I hope to keep him for a long time."
Jeff Wilpon says the Mets put provisions in Brodie Van Wagenen's contract to eliminate any potential conflicts of interest.— Anthony DiComo (@AnthonyDiComo) October 30, 2018
Wilpon would not expand on that thought, but it could include barring Van Wagenen from negotiating directly with Jacob deGrom and other former clients.
Jeff Wilpon, the Mets' COO, said there are provisions in Van Wagenen's contract to deal with conflicts of interest. That could result in Van Wagenen recusing himself from certain negotiations, such as with Jacob deGrom. But Van Wagenen would help provide direction.
Van Wagenen said he discussed the move with clients, including deGrom, as it progressed. Said he would like to keep him for a long time.— James Wagner (@ByJamesWagner) October 30, 2018
Wilpon said the Mets have "money put aside" to improve parts of the team, such as player development and analytics departments.