Mets ballgame is In Hand of New GM

 By Rich Mancuso/ Sports Editor

This can work and perhaps it won’t. Regardless, the Mets have a new general manager in place with Brodie Van Wagenen and now it’s his ballgame. He said Tuesday afternoon at his Citi Field introductory press conference, “We will win now.”

Sandy Alderson had similar comments when he was appointed GM on October 29, 2010. But these are different shoes to fill for the man they will call Brodie, the 13th General Manager in franchise history.

Start from the beginning of this GM search. COO Jeff Wilpon said there were 40 candidates that were explored to succeed Sandy Alderson. When Brodie Van Wagenen expressed an interest there was that familiarity.

Most important is Jacob deGrom, Yoenis Cespedes, now former clients. The player-agent is now a front office executive, so there is that familiarity. The commitment off the bat is retaining Jacob deGrom and Brodie Van Wagenen is in position to do that. Familiarity with the potential Cy Young Award right-hander and perhaps a conflict of interest?

There will be tons of speculation and questions, however the conflict of interest was clarified. He is now the GM of the New York Mets. Associations with players were over as of Tuesday also clarified when Jeff Wilpon was asked.

Qualified to have the task of getting the Mets back on top? That remains to be determined but a positive spin is having Omar Minaya by his side who never expressed an interest in assuming the GM role again.

For the coming year, Mickey Callaway remains the manager. Coaching staff, player moves, scouting, analytics  will be the emphasis in what now has commenced to be a busy offseason for the Mets to contend in 2019.

There were other qualified candidates that were in the mix. Chain Bloom and Doug Melvin apparently did not fit the mold  The analytics and scouting pitch met the criteria. Don’t bypass that Brodie, a former partner with his former CAA agency, pitched the Mets they have to spend

Will this ownership spend? They took a risk with Yoenis Cespedes when Alderson was in command. will this change in pursuit of a Manny Machado or another high profile free agent? These are some of the questions.

With the the Wilpon ownership and previous association with Jeff Wilpon, finances had to be  discussed but it all comes down to spending and that is the conflict that still exists with Brodie Van Wagenen. He knows something about the needs of Jacob deGrom and other players.

Leave all of those questions in the coming weeks and months. What comes with this new hire is that speculation about a GM with potential and without a front office background.  

Reportedly, as reported by yours truly, Gary LaRocque was offered the GM role. He reneged and reportedly it was a power play. Fred Wilpon, the longtime friend was for it. Jeff Wilpon wanted to go with  with familiarity on the other side of the negotiating table.

And to be fair, LaRocque, saw the St. Louis Cardinals for his future and did not desire to be a part of the power struggle.  The others had a vision, but older for the game when it comes to analytics with exception of Bloom.

Yes, this is a challenge and Brodie Van Wagenen has the capability to handle it. Jeff Wilpon said, “He has insights with other teams.”  That’s a plus.

Scouting, development, analytics. Put that into play for the Mets as they feel 2019 will not be rebuilding but contending for a championship.

Then there is this, the commitment for sustaing a winning team. The Mets have not been able to live up to that commitment though in fairness to Sandy Alderson there was 2015 and that wild card game a year later.

It comes down to spending and proper player development. The Mets truly believe that Brodie Van Wagenen is their guy. They have him now and it could work in attempts to retain deGrom and Noah Syndergaard and other players he is familiar with. Then again, it could work against him.  

“We will win now and we will win in the future,” he said.  “We will develop this city and fan base a team they will be proud of.”  Mets fans will remember that statement.

And  if the Mets don’t win with this new general manager, Brodie Van Wagenen will be the first to hear from them.

Comment:  Twitter@Ring786 Mancuso

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