The New York Mets announced Tuesday that agent Brodie Van Wagenen would become their next general manager, ending a four month effort to fill the position.

Brodie Van Wagenen Mets
The New York Mets have announced former agent Brodie Van Wagenen as their new general manager. (Image: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke/Newsday)

The 44-year-old Van Wagenen has been an agent at CAA Sports since 2006, during which time he has represented several Mets players, including Cy Young Award candidate Jacob deGrom.

Van Wagenen Was First Choice, Wilpon Says

The Van Wagenen hire has been considered controversial in baseball circles. While he has a long history in baseball and a background in the sport, he has never before served in a baseball front office.

But according to Mets COO Jeff Wilpon, Van Wagenen was the person the team wanted for the job all along.

We hired our first choice, Wilpon said at a press conference. Being a team builder, his positivity and the process he plans to go through to bring this organization to a sustainable, winning position. Thats the key word we want to use, sustainable.

Wilpon also suggested that Van Wagenens unusual background could prove beneficial to the Mets.

Hes going to bring some excitement, hes going to bring a different look at things than weve had from traditional GMs, Wilpon said. Were really energized by this, I think its going to be a lot of fun for years to come.

Van Wagenen told reporters that he was committed to making sure the Mets could be a winning franchise, both immediately and going forward.

We will win now, we will win in the future, he said. Were going to develop a winning culture and a winning mindset. And we will deliver this city and fan base a team they can be proud of.

That probably wont mean any wholesale changes right away, despite the fact that the Mets finished with a disappointing 77-85 record this season. Van Wagenen suggested that manager Mickey Callaway will be back with the team, and that the roster would be improved through talent acquisition.

I expect to be in on every free agent, Van Wagenen said. If they fit our roster, were going to go after him.

Potential Conflicts of Interest Cloud Hire

Its not unprecedented for an agent to become the general manager of a professional sports team, as it has happened in both the NBA and NHL in the past. But the move has still raised eyebrows around MLB, as it is easy to imagine some conflicts of interest that could crop up given Van Wagenens previous role.

Perhaps the biggest concern is how Van Wagenen could potentially use his relationships with players to his advantage. In theory, information given to him by a player he represented could now impact trade or contract negotiations.

Van Wagenen has taken steps to try to prevent those issues. He was decertified as an agent as soon as he took a job with the Mets, and all of his former clients will get new representation, either with CAA or with a new agency. Van Wagenen wont take any more of his agents fees from contracts he negotiated previously, and has divested from CAA.

Still, other agents have questioned whether Van Wagenen will be able to avoid violating his former clients trust in some way.

If someone made a commitment to a player saying I care about your interests, and then took all that information to work for a team and used that to negotiate against me, I would be very upset, agent Scott Boras told USA Today. I would never violate the trust that I have with any player.

The Mets aren’t one of the favorites to win a World Series in 2019, though they are expected to be competitive. William Hill lists New York at 33/1 odds to win a championship next season, while the Boston Red Sox (6/1) and Houston Astros (6/1) are the top picks to win next year.