The Mets are leaning toward an unconventional choice to lead their baseball operations department.
Brodie Van Wagenen, a longtime agent who represents multiple Mets players and numerous others around the majors, has emerged as the favorite to be the team’s next general manager, according to Yahoo Sports and other outlets.
Van Wagenen, 44, has no front-office experience, and his resume could not be more different than that of the other finalist, Rays vice president of baseball operations Chaim Bloom. While Bloom has held various positions in the Rays front office for a decade, Van Wagenen has been on the other side of the table as one of the game’s most prominent agents.
The co-head of CAA’s baseball division, Van Wagenen represents Mets stars Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard and Yoenis Cespedes — not to mention a minor league outfielder named Tim Tebow. He also has negotiated lucrative deals for Robinson Cano and Ryan Zimmerman, among many others.
While Bloom is considered a strong analytics candidate, an area in which the franchise is seen to have lagged behind its competitors, Van Wagenen is more of an unknown in terms of how he would approach the job.
“I have regular dialogue with all 30 teams,” Van Wagenen said in a statement released by the team earlier this week. “These conversations share a central theme; how can I help make the team better?
“In my role as an agent, my solution is to create opportunities for players to be successful both on and off the field. By creating partnerships between players and teams, the interests of all parties can be aligned. If the players are able to reach their peak potential, the fans will be rewarded with a competitive team that can contend for championships year in and year out. The clubs benefit with compelling, sustainable and profitable entertainment franchises; and the players are rewarded with a platform to realize their childhood dreams while receiving compensation consistent with their tremendous talents.
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“My conversations with the Mets continue to be organic. I believe baseball is better when the Mets are competitive and successful. That success is better for the fans, players, and the economy of the sport. As [owners] Jeff and Fred [Wilpon] continue their search for a new head of baseball operations, the players, fans and entire organization will be motivated to have a leader with the skills and commitment to win. If the Wilpon’s (sic) believe I am that person, we will have that conversation.”
The third finalist, former Brewers and Rangers GM Doug Melvin, was informed Thursday that he is out of the running.
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