Scott Boras Still Uneasy About Mets' Hiring Of Van Wagenen As GM
MLB agent Scott Boras said he has "great difficulty" understanding the ethics behind the Mets hiring former CAA player agent Brodie Van Wagenen as their new GM, according to David O'Brien of THE ATHLETIC. Boras noted Van Wagenen was still an active agent during his talks with the Mets for the GM job, and he was "negotiating with a major league team without giving his clients notice." Boras: "That's what went on there. He is negotiating with that team, and he's got prominent clients that he knows intimate things about, and he's negotiating with them." Van Wagenen was not decertified by the MLBPA until the day before he was introduced as Mets GM, and Boras said, "If guys are going to want to go work for teams and do things, you've got to let your players know and disassociate yourself from the union, and then you begin talking to the major league teams. You don't do it at the same time." Boras said he tells clients that he has been "offered many jobs by teams" and also "offered partnerships from guys that wanted to buy into ownership, percentages of teams." Boras noted he views the idea of someone representing players and then going to work for a team as "completely unethical" (THEATHLETIC.com, 11/7). In N.Y., Mike Puma notes Van Wagenen yesterday "downplayed the idea of a rift" between he and Boras. Van Wagenen: "I reject the notion I am going to be in a conflict of interest or I am going to compromise my own reputation and my past behavior and my own integrity in my current role. I am going to value players. I am going to treat them with respect" (N.Y. POST, 11/8).
MASS MOVEMENT: THE ATHLETIC's Ken Rosenthal noted the MLB offseason's "biggest current movement involves players changing agents, agents joining new agencies and other agents recruiting players for new representation." The "ongoing breakup of the Legacy Agency resulted in two Legacy agents, Brian Peters and Kenny Felder, joining Excel Sports Management." Excel now "will represent" one of Peters' free agents, D-backs CF A.J. Pollock, and one of Felder's, Indians LF Michael Brantley. Sources said that another Legacy client, Astros SS Carlos Correa, also is "talking to other agencies." Sources said that the Mets' hiring of Van Wagenen "prompted one of his former clients," free-agent 2B Jed Lowrie, to "also join Excel." Sources also said that rival agents are "interested in talking to former Van Wagenen clients" such as Mets P Jacob deGrom. However, deGrom and others "might simply opt to stay at CAA, whose baseball division also includes agents Jeff Berry, Joe Urbon and Naz Balelo." Van Wagenen "joined the Mets more than a week ago, and to this point little has changed in CAA's client list." Lowrie is the "only known defection, and he had a previous relationship with Excel's Casey Close" (THEATHLETIC.com, 11/6).