Brodie Van Wagenen understands that image resonates over everything, which is why extending Jacob deGrom was an essential part of his vision for the future of the Mets.
In a Sports Illustrated profile of Van Wagenen, the Mets GM explained that he laid out a plan to Fred and Jeff Wilpon that included locking up the reigning NL Cy Young Award winner long-term in an effort to rid a "culture of negativity" that seems to surround the franchise.
"I think that most Mets fans wake up defeated," he said. "I wanted Mets fans to wake up with the belief that winning is the only outcome that they can expect."
Van Wagenen has made his mark felt in a number of ways.
He has insisted the Wilpons increase the budget for analysts, scouts and technology in addition to player payroll. He spent every morning texting with Pete Alonso about the weight-loss goals the team set for him (he lost 12 pounds to cut to 240).
Yet nothing was more critical to Van Wagenen than getting the extension with deGrom done.
While he initially recused himself from negotiations with players he had represented as an agent, he stepped in to make sure he could see a crucial part of his vision through.
As the Mets boarded a plane and flew to Syracuse days before Opening Day, Van Wagenen, deGrom and others stayed back in a conference room at Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport until a deal got done.
After nearly nine hours and a 7-Eleven taco run, they finally reached a five-year, $137.5 million deal -- the second-largest in franchise history to David Wright, who also had an assist in the negotiations.