When Brodie Van Wagenen took the path less taken, going from agent to general manager, worries arose about how members of his former and current worlds would enact business with him. Player representatives and front-office executives expressed concerns about how — and even if — they would interact with the Mets’ new head of baseball operations.
Could he be trusted? Where did his loyalties lie? What did he know from his previous life that could be weaponized now?
The uneasiness, to all outward signs, has proven to be noise over reality. I spoke to a half-dozen agents and executives who engaged this offseason with Van Wagenen and, even with anonymity offered, none disparaged him. Instead, they described business as pretty much normal, despite the unorthodox, mid-career job flip. Most praised Van Wagenen for being candid, direct, energetic and decisive in what he was willing to do either in trade or contract talks and someone who showed a positivity about players.
Now that those anxieties have been mainly flushed, what did Van Wagenen do with that candid, direct, energetic and decisive philosophy? He decided a team with the Mets’ powerful rotation should not punt for a better tomorrow.
Instead, in a generally slow-moving market, he acted boldly, trying to create better depth in all areas and a more diverse, fierce offense.