On October 29, 2018, Brodie Van Wagenen replaced Sandy Alderson as the New York Mets General Manager. He previously served as the co-head of the baseball division at Creative Artists Agency.
The Mets were 40-50 at the All-Star break and were actually closer to being in last place in the National League East division than first. After those first half struggles, the Mets had a 19-6 record after the break in the first 25 games, the league's best record in that time, and were within one game of a wild-card playoff berth.
Despite missing the postseason, the Mets and their fans have a lot to be excited about going into the 2020 season.
Van Wagenen joined WFAN's Mike Francesa to reflect back on the 2019 MLB season, the team's offseason plans, hiring of former Mets player Carlos Beltran as manager, etc.
The Mets went with former star player Carlos Beltran as their new manager, passing on former Yankees manager Joe Girardi, who interviewed multiple times for the team's managerial opening. He is now the new skipper for their division rival Philadelphia Phillies.
"Experience can be defined in a bunch of different ways," Van Wagenen explained. "20 years as a player being in the clubhouse, playing for the different managers he played for, Carlos has a huge track record of understanding and exposure to different talent."
Former Mets manager Terry Collins has been rumored to be a candidate for their bench coach opening.
"We've been careful not to talk about who is or who isn't a candidate. We're going to let Carlos and our staff work together to view the right people and make the coaching staff announcement once we have it all completed."
Edwin Diaz had a 5.59 ERA in 2019 with seven blown saves and a 2-7 record. He also set the single season record, allowing 15 home runs in the ninth inning. Van Wagenen and the Mets still believe in Diaz as their closer moving forward.
"He's a crucial part, a key part," Van Wagenen said when discussing Diaz. "He needs to be on our club and pitch in high leverage situations. Our projection systems still believe in Diaz's talent and we know we've got a guy who can rebound and be an All-Star type performer for us ...we expect him to get those outs in the ninth inning."
Naturally, Francesa also asked for an injury update on Yoenis Cespedes and whether fans could see him on the field in 2020.
"Hard to say. He's been out for so long until we see him back on the field its impossible to predict."
The Mets season was a tale of two halves. Van Wagenen is confident the second half of the year is a better measure of the team's potential moving forward.
"I view the team as the way we finished. We believe we can contend and compete. We're playing in a league and divsion that isnt going to stop trying. We've got fierce compeition. We like our talent.... we'll have to continue to find ways to get better to find consistency."