Phillies Have Brodie Van Wagenen To Thank

The Philadelphia Phillies won Game 1 of the NLCS against the San Diego Padres. They’re now three games away from the World Series.

This is as unexpected a run as you could imagine. First and foremost, one year ago, the Phillies would not be in the postseason. However, with the expansion of the postseason under the new CBA, the Phillies made it, and they’ve made the most of their opportunity.

They also took full advantage of the opportunities presented to them by Brodie Van Wagenen’s ineptitude.

When Van Wagenen was hired by the Mets, Bryce Harper was hitting free agency. Due to a multitude of factors, his market wasn’t as bullish as it nearly should’ve been.

Harper was always complimentary of the Mets pitching staff. He was a player who wanted a large market, and he liked what the Mets had. He could have been a missing piece which took them to another level.

Instead, Van Wagenen opted to trade for his former client Robinson Canó. He fulfilled his client’s wishes and brought him back to New York.

Cano came with a $24 million AAV. For the Mets, that was $20.25 million. Harper signed with the Phillies for a $25 million AAV. In terms of overall AAV, Harper was only making one million more per season.

Now, Harper wasn’t a guarantee for the Mets, especially with the Wilpons. However, this illustrates how the Mets opted to allocate their money.

Cano had a second PED suspension last year while Harper was the NL MVP. This year, Harper was an all-star while Cano was playing his way out of the league. Harper homered in Game 1 of the NLCS giving Zack Wheeler all the run support he needed.

Wheeler was very good with the Mets in his final few seasons. He was poised to be the steal of the 2019-2020 offseason. Of course, Van Wagenen thought differently.

He thought Wheeler only had two good halves with the Mets. His player valuation model which said to get Cano determined Wheeler was going to be overpaid.

Somehow, instead, Van Wagenen thought the Mets were better off with Rick Porcello and Michael Wacha. He was completely alone in that line of thinking.

Wheeler turned down more lucrative offers to stay local. He wanted to be a Met. He settled on the Phillies at a discount. The Mets just walked away from Wheeler to purposefully get worse.

Since that time, Wheeler was a Cy Young runner up last season, and he was in the top 12 a year before that. He was a first time all-star.

He also won Game 1 of the NLCS pitching seven shutout innings. He has a 1.40 ERA this postseason. He’s doing it all for the Phillies because Van Wagenen didn’t want him.

Harper and Wheeler led the Phillies to the postseason, and they led them to a Game 1 victory. Both are Phillies because Van Wagenen didn’t want them. That goes double for Wheeler

The Mets loss is the Phillies gain. The good news is the Mets have Steve Cohen now instead of the Wilpons and Van Wagenen. This situation will not happen again, and even if it were to happen, the Mets would have a lot more than Porcello and Wacha to show for it.