Former New York Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen is being courted by some of the largest sports agencies, sources tell Front Office Sports.
Van Wagenen was one of the top player agents in the business and was co-head of CAA Baseball before he took over as Mets GM after the 2018 season. His hire was seen as potentially risky, since Van Wagenen didn’t have any front office experience, and some wondered if there’d be potential a conflict of interest in dealings with former clients, which included multiple Mets stars.
Along with Van Wagenen, much of the Mets front office departed after Steve Cohen’s $2.4 billion purchase of the club was completed in November.
WME — which is expanding its baseball operation — is one of the agencies showing interest, according to sources. Athletes First, Excel Sports Management and Klutch Sports have also been mentioned by industry insiders as possible landing spots.
A person with knowledge of Van Wagenen’s thinking said he’s still assessing his options, one of which could be joining, or creating, a private equity firm.
“I’m not sure he could be enticed to get back into the trenches [in player representation],” one industry source said.
Van Wagenen declined to comment when reached by Front Office Sports.
Some former associates would like to see him get another front office gig, and possibly even a job at the MLB headquarters.
“He’s a brilliant baseball mind,” another industry source said.
Both could prove a tough sell. For one, many view Van Wagenen’s Mets tenure as lackluster, since the team finished without playoff appearances in each of his two seasons in charge.
For another, Van Wagenen didn’t do himself any favors when he was captured on an open mic saying MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred “just doesn’t get it” in reference to a suggested demonstration in response to the police shooting of Jacob Blake, who is Black. Van Wagenen later apologized, saying the idea in reference was, in fact, then-Mets owner Jeff Wilpon’s.
“My frustration with the Commissioner was wrong and unfounded,” Van Wagenen said later in a statement. “I apologize to the Commissioner for my disrespectful comments and poor judgement in inaccurately describing the contents of his private conversation with Jeff Wilpon.”