Brodie Van Wagenen has preached a players-first regime since he became the Mets new GM earlier this offseason, and that was on full display Thursday in our nation's capital during Jacob deGrom's press conference to formaly announce his five-year extension.
While teams all over were issuing extensions to essential players to lock them up for the near future, the Mets and deGrom were working diligently to get a deal done themselves. It came down to the last week of Spring Training, but ultimately, the Mets didn't want to come back north without deGrom inked long-term.
That vigor and determination to have the Mets' ace on the team for the next five years is the exact message Van Wagenen promised, and he believes that the team and everyone around it has felt that from the start.
"I think it's a consistent one," Van Wagenen told SNY's Steve Gelbs in an exclusive 1-on-1 interview following the presser. "I don't think that we have wavered from what our mission is and we want to create the best team we can, put the best players in the world in our clubhouse. When they perform, we want to reward them for it and I think this is an example of doing just that."
Throughout the spring, though, it didn't look like Van Wagenen was going to get this deal done. The mutual interest never faded, but deGrom said toward the end that he was less optimistic the deal would get done with only a few days left in Port St. Lucie.
But Van Wagenen knew what needed to be done, which is why his confidence never faltered. And that seems to be a theme with the former CAA agent: he is a man of his word.
"I think that I'm not just talking about it, so I don't wake up everyday feeling I have to prove it just because," he said. "I'm telling the truth. So, from Pete Alonso or from Dom Smith or from Tim Peterson or Jacob deGrom, when players perform they should be rewarded for that performance."
Havin deGrom sign the dotted line for his extension was a main priority for this new front office, but he isn't the only Met that could see an extension coming there way in the near future. Players like Noah Syndergaard, Michael Conforto, and Zack Wheeler are among those the Mets could pivot to next.
Is that what Van Wagenen has in mind?
"Well, I think that this was important at this moment. I think, as I said from the beginning, this signing was going to sort of dictate the rest of what our business plan would look like. Not just in '19, but as we go forward. Now that we have that done, we'll start to think about what other chess moves next to take place to accomplish those goals."