As recently as last night, Mets ace Jacob deGrom told reporters that he’d yet to settle on who his new agent will be in the wake of Brodie Van Wagenen’s appointment as the Mets’ general manager. That decision now looks to have been made, as SNY’s Andy Martino reports that deGrom will remain with CAA Baseball (Van Wagenen’s former agency), where he’ll be represented by agent Jeff Berry (Twitter link).
Van Wagenen, Berry, and Nez Balelo had shared responsibilities for running CAA, so the recent change at the top left the latter two men as co-heads of the agency. While deGrom had the right to speak with other agencies (and presumably did so) after Van Wagenen fully divested himself of all ties to CAA, MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo tweets that deGrom’s decision was made because he valued the stability of remaining with the only agency he’s known since being drafted.
If and when the Mets do broach the subject of an extension with deGrom and Berry, Van Wagenen’s involvement in the process will be limited. At the time of his introduction to the New York media, Van Wagenen was asked about a potential conflict of interest when negotiating against deGrom and other Mets clients in arbitration settings. COO Jeff Wilpon fielded the question (link via the Post’s Dan Martin), saying that Van Wagenen’s contract has “provisions … to deal with any conflicts of interest.” Asked specifically about a long-term deal for deGrom, Wilpon responded:
“We didn’t discuss specifics on any one player like that. I think [deGrom] is to be determined and Brodie is going to have to recuse himself from some of those discussions. He will have to set an overall tone for the organization, which way he wants us to go, and then we’ll have to have some others be responsible for doing the actual contract.”
Beyond that quote, Martino further tweets that Van Wagenen indeed “must recuse himself” from any talks with deGrom, although contract situations centering on any of Van Wagenen’s former clients will likely face some scrutiny in the short term. While concerns surrounding the matter might fade in the second, third and fourth seasons of Van Wagenen’s reported four-year contract, it’s fair to assume that he presently has knowledge of his former clients’ interests that would not be privy to the standard general manager. The precise manner in which Van Wagenen’s limitations would be enforced, to this point, isn’t clearly laid out, but the fact that deGrom is now being represented by Van Wagenen’s former partner figures to further place the situation under a microscope when negotiations begin.
The minor shift in deGrom’s representation has been noted in MLBTR’s Agency Database, which contains information on more than 2,500 Major League and Minor League players. If you see any notable errors or omissions, please let us know via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.