It seems like Jacob deGrom is not completely sold on his former agent becoming his new general manager.
The Mets ace, who had been represented by Brodie Van Wagenen, said he is trying to “wrap my head around” the events of the past few weeks, during which his world has been turned upside down.
He also told MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo that Van Wagenen’s transition from agent to front office has been “a little confusing.”
It was always going to be important to hear deGrom’s side of this story, because he could be the player most affected by Van Wagenen’s negotiations going forward.
“I honestly think he’s going to do a good job at this,” deGrom said, according to MLB.com. “You hear all of this conflict-of-interest stuff. I don’t really know how to feel on that part of it. But I truly do believe he is going to be rooting for every player on our team, and try to help them out the best he can.”
The “conflict-of-interest stuff” is a clear reference to how the tables have turned with deGrom’s own relationship to Van Wagenen. As a top agent for CAA, Van Wagenen had given the Mets an ultimatum during the season: Either extend deGrom’s contract or trade him. DeGrom was in the middle of what should be a Cy Young campaign, and Van Wagenen wanted to ensure the ace had some security going forward.
The Mets made no move to do either option, though, leaving the decision now in Van Wagenen’s hands, but as the general manager. You can see why deGrom might be a little “confused.” Where does he stand in the negotiations at this point?
At the GM meetings in California, Van Wagenen did not hesitate when asked if he had ruled out trading deGrom or the team’s other top-flight starter, Noah Syndergaard.
“I haven’t ruled anything out,” he said.
Presumably, Van Wagenen knows a lot about deGrom, including how much the ace might want to remain in Flushing or, on the other hand, whether he’d be open to a trade. All of that is information Van Wagenen could now use to negotiate a deal that is favorable to the team rather than to his former client.
DeGrom becomes a free agent in two years and has yet to sign with a new agency, according to MLB.com.
Van Wagenen has made it clear the Mets are in win-now mode for 2019, which should mean deGrom is not going anywhere. But will he get the long-term extension he was vying for with Van Wagenen as his agent?