Reese Kaplan -- BVW -- Baseball Victories Wanted!


About ten days ago word filtered out that previous frontrunners for the Mets then-open GM position, Doug Melvin and Kim Ng, were no longer under consideration.  That left two men standing for the vacancy, the Tampa Bay Rays’ wunderkind Chaim Bloom and latecomer to the process, agent Brodie Van Wagenen.  In an almost unanimous cry from the fans and the media, Bloom was the man everyone wanted in that role.  So naturally the Mets chose Van Wagenen.

Upon first glance there were indeed issues.  There was the whole conflict-of-interest thing since BVW represents several Mets major and minor league players.  To me, that was just so much noise as it’s not an unprecedented move.  Former player and agent Dave Stewart went from the ranks of representing players to being in charge of a front office.  It didn’t rip a hole in the space-time continuum.  It can be done.

Then came the issue of front office experience.  Given the Mets’ predilection for favoring people long in the tooth.  That was why most speculated Melvin would be the inevitable choice given his many years of front office experience.  Of course, Sandy Alderson also had a long track record as a front office executive and we all see how that worked!

Still, the youth and 14 years of front office experience of 35-year-old Mr. Bloom seemed to be just what the doctor ordered to fix the ailing Mets.  Given the fact he worked to keep the Rays competitive while working with a miniscule budget, he seemed to fit the mold of what’s needed in the Wilpon regime. 

At the time BVW’s primary qualification is the fact that he plays golf with Jeff Wilpon and has a “good relationship” with the man.  Now, in addition to embracing experience over youth, the Mets also have a long track record of bringing in (or bringing back) resources who are familiar to them.  In this case, a man who in effect Jeff paid to be his friend (through contract negotiations) is the one who walked away with the brass ring. 

So right away the media frenzy about this Metsian decision was fierce.  Even in the middle of the ocean between Aruba and Panama the headlines were less than charitable.  How could they go with someone like this to take the reins?

Well, a little more than a week since being announced as the new GM, BVW has turned a lot of jeers into cheers.  He recognized that the hitting approach was all wrong and that providing a rookie manager an AL bench coach was flat-out wrong.  He is setting up 2nd year manager Mickey Callaway with the opportunity to succeed rather than fail by giving him the right mix of people on his coaching staff. 

The walking “Ken Doll” has also proven himself to be fairly savvy working with the media in his short tenure at the top.  He’s made some statements that set them into a feeding frenzy (such as suggesting Tim Tebow could crack the opening day roster), but also gave tidbits that people liked hearing such as Pete Alonso getting a fair opportunity to win the 1st base job outright in spring training. 

It’s early in the process of taking over the front office of a ballclub, but the early indications are during the GM meetings that BVW may not be the unmitigated disaster everyone anticipated he would be.  Of course, the official company line about why he was hired is that he told the Wilpons what they needed to hear, not what they wanted to hear.  Maybe, maybe not.  Time will tell.  For now, the proof is in the pudding and it will be interesting to see how things play out for BVW and the Mets.  He allegedly has not had the conversation about payroll limitations so when Manny Machado, Bryce Harper, Yasmani Grandal, Craig Kimbrel and others are available without sacrificing any major or minor league player resoruces, many will be interested to see if the Mets are, to use fellow agent Scott Boras’ phrase, ready to shop for steak. 


Thomas Brennan said...

It's Brodie Doody time.

Let's see some BVW magic this off season.

Thomas Brennan said...

If we sign Machado, make sure he doesn't need surgery on both heels first. I know something like that ever happens...

Rustyjr said...

So far I’m liking what I’ve beem seeing from BVW .. but then again I felt the same way about Jeff Torbirg

Mack Ade said...

I'm on record liking this choice, but i'm starting to dislike all the evasive chatter coming out of his mouth. Very vague stuff about guys like TDA.

A little more action would put me back on the track though.

Viper said...

Brodie is a candidate for foot and mouth disease. Too much talk that later needs to be clarified. Why not just be clear from the beginning?

bill metsiac said...

IMO there's much too much importance given to appearance over substance. I don't care if BVW looks like a "walking Ken doll", or hpw he appears in his initial press conferences".
Neither do I care about why he's friendly with JW, or whether "everyone" wanted someone else.

This is not an election in which fans vote, like American Idol. It's a decision by owners of a business who stand to lose many millions of dollars if it fails.

As Mack says, it's what he actually DOES that counts, and I'll look to mid-February before I make a firm opinion on his off-season moves. And, whatever the reason for his friendship with the owner, I'm glad it's there. The better the relationship is, the better for the results. If the GM has a plan , but the owners have different ideas that frustrate him, that does not bode well for success. Communication is essential and a positive relationship can only help.
As a fan, I don't claim to know more than the pros. I just root for success.

Thomas Brennan said...

Viper, the Wilpons have wallet-in-pocket disease. They need to REALLY fix the pen, and it would not hurt them to make a splash.

If Andrew Miller is healthy, get him. And one or two other real relievers (Familia?) My fingers hurt from having them crossed each time a reliever comes in.

Anonymous said...

Morning Mack ,fella's:

Another team out there looking to trade, Cincinnatti.
Would you be willing to have a guy like Billy Hmailton,on the Mets?
Switch Hitting OF, would add speed to the roster off the bench or spelling bruce Nimmo conforto against a tough lefty.

What do you guys think of Martin Maldonaldo?
If BVW cant sign Ramos or Grandel I wouldn't mind Maldonaldo.
I liked Rene Rivera,thought he worked well with the pitching staff.
I think Mladonaldo would aswell,im not worried about a low averaged hitting catcher.
Gee you could always double switch Hamilton ,in too run late in a game,and play Defense.

Enjoy the day guys
Damn snow up here

Mack Ade said...


I like Maldonado

Excellent defensive ability to keep pitchers looking good

Viper said...

Brodie needs to sign either Grandal or Ramos before they're gone.
Bring back Familia and sign Miller or Britton and Ottavino.

The BP should be the priority since I think the Mets blew 19 saves last year. Stop dreaming of Machado, is not happening.

Realmuto? can afford what they would ask.

Dimitri Cadet said...

I am starting to wonder, why is such a cry over a player agent becoming a GM, specially by Boras. Is there something hidden in this hiring process. Like he's scared.

Agents works on behalf of clients, trying to rip off the last few extra dollars from owners. Now, being on the other sides, these tactics, well served the Mets quite well. I believe in the past some players, wanted to take less, and the agents, wanted more, and get more...Now it's a different game. I Love It

Mike Freire said...

I agree with most of the opinions on here, in that BVW will earn his reputation by what he does, not what he says. Granted, the Mets have a lot of media, which means lots of "mouths to feed", so he has to answer a ton of questions (which can spark a frenzy, like the Tebow comment).

So far, so good......but it is all talk until the roster starts to take shape.

Anonymous said...

Viper I agree with you
Bullpen should be the 1st priority.
Signing a guy like MAldonaldo is bird in hand,
saves you money for the priority.
I want them to sign 3 Britton, Herrera and Familia
But could settle for Miller,Ottavino and Kimbrel
Also Cleveland is looking for OF how about Bruce for Yan Gomes?


Mack Ade said...

Most of Cleveland's existing contracts are for 1 season.


Reese Kaplan said...

Gomes is under contract for 2019 with options for 2020 and 2021. That's not a bad thought, actually.

Adam Smith said...

If this team wants to compete in ‘19 and beyond, but won’t spend on Harper or Marchado (and I would lay big time odds that they won’t) the move to make is to put a package together for Realmuto. As maybe the best catcher in the game, he could add as much overall value to this team - making both the pitching staff and the infolield better, in addition to his bat - as either of them. Plus, he’a young enough to stay behind the plate theough the current core’s competitive window. I am ordinarily against trading big prospects but I would happily give up Alonso AND Giminez, AND Dunn, AND another high-ceiling/low minors guy for him, as long as we could sign him to an extension that keeps him here 5 years. That’s how much I believe he’d help this team just by showing up. Will they do it? Almost certainly not. I’m not even sure that that package gets it done. But if you want to turn this pitching staff and these young players into an actual top tier team, you go in with guns blazing and do almost anything you can to make Realmuto your anchor.

bob gregory said...

If the Mets are unwilling or unable to bring Realmuto and Machado into the roster the answer is not in short term 30 + year old players.

If the organization is unwilling or unable to bring in mid 20's high performance players ther will be no sustainability. It will just result in more consecutive years of haphazardness.

Better to just trade off deGrom, Syndergaard, Wheeler, & Matz in order to create a new core of low 20 year olds capable of sustainable success.

Viper said...


If you are thinking that the Mets are going to bring in Realmuto and Machado, you are mistaken.

Here is example A: The FA catchers to target, Ramos & Grandal. Now they are talking about Maldonado.

I am starting to smell that dumpster getting closer and closer to Flushing. Omar will show Brodie how to master the art of dumpster diving.

bob gregory said...

As I said.
I see no reason in patchwork rosters from year to year anymore.

If the organization is not committed to assembling a strong mid to late 20 year old core around the pitchers, then use the pitching in order to bring in a low 20 yr old sustainable core.

bill metsiac said...

If even the package you suggest isn't enough to get Realmuto, then forget him altogether IMO. We've got Catcher prospects in the minors who are 2-3 years away, so one who can be the bridge for that length of time, like Ramos, should be the target.

Viper said...

Like I said before, what's the point of closing a hole with Realmuto while creating one at 1B by trading Alonso?. And another down the line by including Gimenez?.

What happens when Vargas is done and no one is around to take over?

Doesn't make sense.

bob gregory said...

Please be cautious. Alonzo and Gimenez have not proven to deserve making the major league roster for 2019 yet.

Machado and Realmuto are instantly proven productive, middle of the order, defensive plus, young, players without injury histories.

Their ages and peak productivity also align much better with deGrom, Syndergaard, Wheeler, and Matz's.

I am just making the case that if the Mets organization are too afraid, or too cheap to invest in creating the best offensive and defensive team it easily can make at this time.....
Then they should stop committing half-way.

If not committing now, then the organization's best chance at sustainable success is to load up on early 20 year old highly productive players. Using the draft and international signings are good for filling and fortifying a roster over time. These players rarely line up time frame wise into fielding a roster at one time.

In order to stock a roster at one time period with highly productive early 20 year old players would require an influx of talent through trade.

The Mets trade chips that can accomplish this would be the pitching staff. After all they would be wasted on half committed teams anyway.

bob gregory said...

Oh sorry...to answer your questions about

1st base: Frazier & Bruce can cover 2019

5th starter after Vargas goes: Lugo, Gsellman, minor league graduate, or free agent.

Gimenez: Gimenez may still be a Met. Rosario might be the price for Realmuto. Additionally middle infield options exist in the Mets minors.

Viper said...

If Rosario is the price for Realmuto, who plays shortstop?

bob gregory said...

Machado, Gimenez, one if the many AAAA players in the minors, free agent, or trade...

bob gregory said...

Easier to replace an 8th place hitting shortstop than a middle of the order, young All-Star infielder like Machado

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