The Brodie Van Wagenen approach

Brodie Van Wagenen has only been on the job as the Mets GM for a few months, but the outline of the way he operates is taking shape. Let’s examine the approach the former player agent has pursued in running the Mets front office.

1. He tends to favor experience over youth in his roster-building. Many GMs go with the younger and cheaper credo, but our boy Brodie takes a contrarian approach. So far, for example, additions to the roster include Jed Lowrie (34 years old), Robinson Cano (36), Wilson Ramos (31), and Justin Wilson, also 31. These arriving players all have multiyear, multimillion dollar contracts. Departures include Jarred Kelenic (19), Justin Dunn (23), and Kevin Plawecki (27).

2. Van Wagenen has a definite affinity for depth in his roster construction. There are three MLB veteran catchers under control in Ramos, Travis d’Arnaud and Devin Mesoraco, and indications are all three could at least start the year with the big club. There are three players whose best position is second base in Cano, Lowrie and Jeff McNeil. The relief corps, undermanned last year, has been significantly upgraded. Robert Gsellman was the closer by the end of last year, and there now four or five relievers ahead of him on the depth charts for high leverage use.

3. He was not afraid to churn his roster. It has been many years since so many familiar Mets names have departed to be replaced by new ones. The starting pitching rotation looks like it will be similar or identical to the staff that closed out the 2018, but the position players and the bullpen all underwent big changes. As a corollary to the this churn, Van Wagenen has shown a tendency to acquire previous clients of his, think Cano and Lowrie.

4. Van Wagenen has put an emphasis on improving the analytical aspect of the front office. The Mets analytics department was one of the smaller units in MLB last year. However that department has been beefed up considerably this year. Adam Guttridge, 33, is now the Assistant GM for systematic development, Jarred Banner (32) is the Director of player development, and 57 year old Allard Baird is the Assistant GM for scouting and player development. All three are considered to be analytics friendly, and Banner and Baird were products of the Red Sox organization, the same one that employs Bill James.

5. Van Wagenen is the opposite of aloof. Some GMs could be considered stuffed shirts, but not our GM. He seems personable and communicative, and a straight shooter. He already has committed himself to enlisting in the seven line army, at least for the subway series, as he plans to be seated in the stands with the rest of the troops.

Of course, it’s impossible to tell at this point how the Van Wagenen tenure will pan out. If the Mets make the postseason and then become regular contenders, all will be peachy in the land of Mr. Met. If, on the other hand, Jarred Kelenic turns into the reincarnation of Mickey Mantle while Robinson Cano is sitting on a Bobby Bonilla autographed rocking chair collecting millions from the club, Mr. Van Wagenen might find himself on the hot seat.

6 comments for “The Brodie Van Wagenen approach

  1. Chris F
    February 19, 2019 at 9:59 am

    He sold the Wilpon’s on “win now”, so he had to make moves for veterans that have a track record. Im on the record here that I would have taken the rebuild route and moved towards youth, and I still feel the same. as a result BVW has no time to let players develop. Take Kelenik, at 4 years to the bigs, that’s an utter eternity to BVW, and so his loss is not even on his books if you ask me. Who cares about then when the number of unknowns is so high?

    I do agree with 3 aspects of the BVW regime. 1 – He has made a team capable of scoring runs in different ways. Im all over that, especially with regard to the previous regime. 2 – He turned over a lot of faces. Ive been saying for some time here that the team roster needed a major shake up, and we definitely are going to get it. Never know if it will work until there are games played, but its been essential. 3 – attitude. The previous administration’s caustic, measured, and obfuscating face to the world was terrible. One thing for sure, we know where BVW stands, and what he believes. That is wildly refreshing.

    Let’s Go Mets

  2. Mike Walczak
    February 19, 2019 at 12:36 pm

    I like his approach. The old way wasn’t working, so shake it up. Alderson signed retreads like Gonzalez and expected them to start and produce at a high level.

    Van Wags has signed several experienced players to minor league contracts. They can battle for a roster position or be a backup when needed when players go on the injured list.

    Lets Go Mets

    Really refreshing to see it shaken up. Maybe it works, maybe it doesnt, but it will be a fun ride.

  3. February 19, 2019 at 1:07 pm

    Machado to the Padres now we need Harper to sign with the White Sox or Giants. https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2019/02/padres-agree-to-terms-with-manny-machado.html

    • Steve S.
      February 19, 2019 at 2:54 pm

      Doubt it will be either. More likely, it will be the Phillies or Nats!

      • Mike Walczak
        February 19, 2019 at 6:45 pm

        Watch, Nats for 300 mil.

  4. MattyMets
    February 19, 2019 at 7:57 pm

    I dig his whole culture of winning thing. Alderson brought a professionalism to the organization but it seemed like every year he was about winning 90 games if the chips fell the right way. I like how BVW asked “who here has played in a World Series?” and everyone noted that there were a lot more hands raised than expected when you factor in new players and coaches. I love how he’s built the roster in a way to create competition, eliminate ifs and build up injury protection. I’m excited to watch this team and the season can’t start soon enough.

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