Brodie Van Wagenen’s First Order of Business: Jacob deGrom
With the contracts Brodie Van Wagenen had been able to procure for his clients, it is fairly clear he has been a staunch advocate who is able to get the best deals possible. Part of that has been his being quite forceful to inflammatory in his statements. This includes, but is not limited to his alleging collusion during this past offseason when things moved slowly.
Van Wagenen’s occasional confrontational and inflammatory statements include his demanding an extension or trade for Jacob deGrom. Specifically Van Wagenen would say:
He and I have been transparent with them about his willingness to consider a long-term commitment. But if there’s not a commitment, then obviously the player would be prepared for a trade.
If there’s not a desire to have the player, then you’d like to go to somebody that did have the desire to be committed. It’s if not A, then everybody has to be aware of B. The third alternative of just staying status quo, I don’t think benefits anyone.
The very end of the statement is the key statement. Taking what he said at face value, Van Wagenen honestly believes the Mets have to either extend or trade deGrom. Now, the Mets could let deGrom play out the next two seasons and make a decision then, but as Van Wagenen said himself, that would not benefit anyone.
Understandably, with Sandy Alderson having to step aside, this decision was better left to a new General Manager. Whoever the Mets hired had to make a number of important decisions. With Zack Wheeler a year from free agency, the Mets need to make a decision to extend, trade, or wait until the trade deadline to make a decision on the future of Wheeler.
With Van Wagenen’s comments and his being hired, a decision on deGrom is now front and center.
The team either needs to have a plan for an extension in place, or they need to be prepared to trade him. Even if those plans are not immediately disclosed, those plans need to be in place right now. If not, this will serve as a distraction all season long. The beginnings of that will begin with today’s press conference. In fact, reporters are lined up to ask the question:
First question for Van Wagenen: “Brodie, last July you said the Mets should either trade deGrom or give him a contract. So what are you going to do?”
— Mike Puma (@NYPost_Mets) October 29, 2018
If it is this pressing today, it will be all the more so during the GM Meetings, Winter Meetings, Spring Training, and during any losing streak during the 2019 season.
After that decision is made, the decision is then turned to another one of his clients in Noah Syndergaard. Should deGrom get that extension, how much is left over for his other client? The dominoes keep falling after that.
Yes, there are other decisions which technically need to be made first including who should be designated for assignment. The Mets will need to cut three people by Friday to do that. That said, deGrom is the first order of business because how the Mets handle that decision will inform everything which happens from now. That includes how the rest of the Mets team handles a deGrom trade or extension.