Brodie Van Wagenen took over as general manager of the New York Mets after the 2018 season. He was bold, aggressive, and not ready for the gig.
The Mets managed to turn things on late in 2019 and make a late push for a playoff spot before running out of road in September. In 2020, they were far worse and a big reason for it was because of some huge swings and misses by BVW.
He was a terrible general manager when it came to trades and free agent signings. All Mets fans will agree. But which was he worse at? Let’s settle the debate.
The case to say former Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen was worse at trades part
The most notorious Van Wagenen trade was also his biggest and first. He sent a package of veterans and prospects to the Seattle Mariners for closer Edwin Diaz and overpriced fading veteran Robinson Cano. Both were awful in 2019 which made it look like it had potential to become one of the worst in Mets history.
It still could be depending on how Justin Dunn and Jarred Kelenic develop. Diaz has become a much better pitcher for the Mets post-2019 while Cano’s only success came months before testing positive for PEDs.
Van Wagenen had another bad trade that same offseason when he sent three prospects to the Milwaukee Brewers for middling outfielder Keon Broxton. Far less of a headline-grabber, it was a weak move that ended unceremoniously when Broxton was designated for assignment in the first half of the season then sold to the Baltimore Orioles.
Later on, he would pick up Jake Marisnick in a trade with the Houston Astros which included reliever Blake Taylor going the other way. Marisnick barely played in the shortened 2020 season while Taylor has become a reliable reliever for them.
All major misses, we can also add the 2020 trade deadline deal for Todd Frazier as a final blow to his resume. While not tremendously bad because it only cost one prospect, Van Wagenen added plenty of bad trades to his log.
However, not everything was horrific. Van Wagenen had a few successful deals, too.