With the way things were run at Citi Field, the Mets need some outside-of-the-box thinking.
And with the reported negotiation with Brodie Van Wagenen to become the team’s next head of baseball operations, the Mets are getting just that.
Look, it’s not a move that makes everyone happy, Van Wagenen crossing the aisle to be on the baseball side, after being a player’s agent will turn some heads, but that’s going to be a good thing for the Wilpons. They need to mix things up and not continue to go back to the old boys network and the safe picks.
If Wilpon wanted to play it safe, they would have went with Doug Melvin. Gary LaRocque was originally the No. 1 choice before taking himself out of the game. Both would have been the old school though and both choices would have been in the job for no more than five or six years, since they are in their mid-60s.
No the Mets are better off going younger and with the choices being Van Wagenen or Chaim Bloom, the former is more of a status quo pick, even with the lack of front office experience.
Bloom, who will be a great general manager someday, represents a total change in thinking for the Mets and probably a rebuild. He pioneered the analytical “opening pitcher” and bullpen games, which helped the Rays win 90 games this season. However, the Mets are built very differently and may not have the analytical darlings on the roster. There would be some major changes if Bloom took the job.
The Wilpons are not ready for that. With the players they have right now, they believe they are only a few moves away from contending again and Van Wagenen will be the guy who can get them there. He has the relationships with all 30 teams, while also knowing how to deal with contracts. This move is signaling that they just might start spending again, which Jeff Wilpon mentioned was Sandy Alderson’s decision not to spend over the past few seasons.
It also may mean the current front office will pretty much stay the same with Omar Minaya, John Ricco and JP Ricciardi staying on to advise their new boss.
As for any “conflict of interest” thoughts, remember Van Wagenen is not the first agent to cross the aisle and with former agents running the Warriors and Lakers in the NBA, there haven’t been any real problems.
Remember, the Wilpons are spending here to hire Van Wagenen. Because he made so much with CAA, they will have to pay up to get him, which is not the case with Bloom or even Melvin. That’s a good sign things are changing in Flushing.
It will be more of a good sign if Van Wagenen can change the culture around Citi Field. That’s why this is a good more. Other candidates would be more of the same. This gives the Mets something outside-of-the-box.
And a breath of fresh air at Citi Field.