General manager Brodie Van Wagenen and much of his front office are leaving the New York Mets, the team announced Friday.
The moves were announced less than an hour after hedge fund manager Steve Cohen completed his $2.4 billion purchase of the team.
Special assistant to the general manager Omar Minaya, assistant general managers Allard Baird and Adam Guttridge and executive director of player development Jared Banner also are leaving. The status of senior vice president and senior strategy officer John Ricco was not mentioned.
Cohen ended the Wilpon family’s control of the franchise after 34 mostly frustrating years and took the title of chief executive officer. He hired former Mets general manager Sandy Alderson as team president in his first move and ended Jeff Wilpon’s tenure as chief operating officer.
Alderson, not Cohen, announced the baseball staff departures and said he had started the process of building a leadership staff.
“I want to thank Brodie, Allard, Adam and Jared for their contributions over the last two years,” he said in a statement. “I especially want to thank Omar for his long and distinguished service to the Mets in many important capacities.”
Van Wagenen was a player agent and co-head of CAA Baseball before Wilpon hired him to replace Alderson after the 2018 season. The Mets went 86-76, finishing third in the NL East, and Van Wagenen fired manager Mickey Callaway and replaced him with Carlos Beltran.
But when Beltran was implicated in January by commissioner Rob Manfred in the Houston Astros sign-stealing scandal during Beltran’s final season as a player in 2017, he lost his job within days without managing a game and was replaced by quality control coach Luis Rojas.
New York went 26-34 and missed the expanded playoffs in the shortened 2020 season.
Van Wagenen congratulated Fred Wilpon for “an intelligence and love that made all of us feel that we were a part of his family” and Jeff Wilpon for an “incredible opportunity and the unwavering support” and for “unrivaled work ethic and sacrifice” to create Citi Field, which opened in 2009.
“We took a team that had suffered losing seasons in 2017 and 2018 to contention in 2019 and onto a chance for real success in 2020 prior to the pandemic,” Van Wagenen said in a statement that thanked staff, players and fans. “While we didn’t reach our goal in 2020, the work that you put in to keep everyone safe and healthy in the midst of the COVID-19 threat played a significant role in the return of and the successful completion of the Major League Baseball season.”
Friday’s moves make Rojas’ future uncertain. Fired Astros GM Jeff Luhnow, who completed a season-long suspension last week, could be a candidate for the analytics-oriented Cohen.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.