For 121 days, the New York Mets have been without a general manager, but have finally narrowed their search down to two candidates.
MLB Insider Jon Heyman announced, on Thursday evening, that favored candidate Doug Melvin had been eliminated from GM contention, leaving only Chaim Bloom and power agent Brodie Van Wagenen for the prized New York baseball position.
In seductive fashion, the New York Mets are poised to make their final decision over the weekend.
The Mets could go the more traditional route with Bloom or could step completely outside of the box and go with Van Wagnen. Both options are a bit frightening, as Melvin would have been the most sensible choice. But, since he is out of the equation, here’s what you need to know about the finalists Bloom and Van Wagenen:
Bloom, 35, would be coming from the Tampa Bay Rays organization where he was serving as the Senior Vice President of Baseball Operations. Bloom has spent the entirety of his career in Tampa.
According to MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo, Bloom is a Yale graduate that speaks the language of analytics fluently and has stellar experience in contract negotiation and international scouting.
Clearly, the Mets need some help in the contract negotiation aspect of the game (i.e. Jay Bruce and his three years, $39 million monstrosity of a contract). Bloom’s experience could certainly benefit the Mets in that department, and his understanding of analytics could only make the team better.
ESNY’s Ricky Keeler thinks Bloom could bring innovative ideas to New York. Bloom is young and understands where the game is headed in terms of analytics. He is also very familiar with working with a low payroll, as the Rays had the one of the lowest in all of baseball.
The Mets payroll would give him a much greater opportunity to really make the team great, which is something we haven’t really seen in recent years. Sure, money was spent, but it wasn’t spent in the right places. Bloom would have the opportunity to change that and would base decisions around analytics.
Brodie Van Wagenen
Van Wagenen is not someone who would typically be considered for a GM position, as he is an agent. He’s not just any agent, though, he is a bit of a powerhouse. Van Wagenen is the agent of Jacob deGrom, Todd Frazier, and Yoenis Cespedes.
You may be asking yourself “how did Van Wagenen even get an interview for this job?” If you asked yourself this, you are not alone. In true Mets fashion, something sketchy was bound to happen! Apparently, Van Wagenen is has been friends with the Wilpons for quite some time, according to Anthony DiComo.
As an agent, Van Wagenen obviously understands the business side of the game, and that could work to his benefit in a GM role.
Steve Gelbs reported Van Wagenen’s statement on his ability to excel in a GM position:
Statement from Brodie Van Wagenen who is a candidate for the Mets GM position: pic.twitter.com/afTbLDE7ag
— Steve Gelbs (@SteveGelbs) October 22, 2018
It seems Van Wagenen is confident in his abilities, but are the Mets walking a fine line? It is hard not to think about what will happen if Van Wagenen is not chosen for the position. Will Van Wagenen resent the Mets, therefore making him less inclined to push for an extension on deGrom’s contract? Van Wagenen is a professional, so the chances of that happening are slim, but it’s something to think about.
As mentioned in his statement, Van Wagenen does have constant dialogue with all 30 teams. It would be easy for him to make deals with other teams because of his relationships with them, which would be great for the Mets.
Is the risk of hiring an agent as a GM worth the risk or is the reward to tempting to resist?
Bloom and Van Wagenen couldn’t be any more different. While the more sensible option would be to go with Bloom and his analytics expertise, Van Wagenen offers a relationship with every team in the league that most people in the business don’t have access to.
It is a scary thought, having an agent, who has several clients on the Mets, potentially being named general manager. But if I know the Mets as well as I think I do, Van Wagenen will be the next general manager.
Bloom is the right choice, but the Mets are not known for doing anything traditionally. Only time will tell who the next GM of the Mets will be. Either way, Bloom or Van Wagenen, 2019 will be an interesting season for the New York Mets.