Just mere hours after officially purchasing the New York Mets franchise, Steve Cohen is cleaning house. The billionaire hedge fund owner and team president Sandy Alderson announced the team is parting ways with five of its top baseball exeuctives.
General manager Brodie Van Wagenen is the most significant name leaving the team. Also on their way out are Omar Minaya, Allard Baird, Adam Guttridge, and Jared Banner.
Immediate, sweeping changes in the Mets front office, headlined by the firing of GM Brodie Van Wagenen. pic.twitter.com/qVXEuuURgd— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) November 6, 2020
A former agent at CAA Baseball, Van Wagenen departs the Mets after just two rocky seasons with the club. While he deserves credit for running a baseball team in an unforgiving New York market, his time with the Mets was something that fans would like to forget about. The Mets originally hired him in 2018 to replace Alderson, who is returning to the team under Cohen’s ownership. During Van Wagenen’s time in the Big Apple, the team went 112-110.
The 46-year-old Van Wagenen’s stint with the Mets will be remembered by his infamous trade with the Mariners in which the Mets acquired Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz in exchange for prospects Justin Dunn and Jarred Kelenic while also dumping payroll dollars on Seattle. He also swapped prospects for overvalued outfielders, pulling the trigger on questionable trades for Jake Marisnick, Keon Broxton, and Billy Hamilton.
Not all of his moves were failures, though. He did facilitate trades for J.D. Davis and Marcus Stroman while also conducting a pair of successful drafts.
Of the other four staffers laid off, Jared Banner is arguably the most surprising. Banner spent 11 years in the Boston Red Sox’ front office before joining the Mets as their Executive Vice President of Player Development in 2018. Thought of as a future general manager candidate, Banner should receive thorough interest from several teams looking to drastically boost their front office.
Cohen, Alderson, and the new Mets brass is wasting no time. Perhaps their urgency surrounding front office moves is a positive sign as Mets fans hope their new ownership group will be aggressive and passionate for years to come.