Van Wagenen the COO of Roc Nation Sports

January 27th, 2021

Brodie Van Wagenen is back in the agent game.

The former general manager of the Mets joined Roc Nation Sports as chief operating officer and head of strategy and business development on Wednesday, shifting back to the agency side of the business following his two-year run with the Mets.

“I’ve always been a player advocate,” Van Wagenen told MLB.com. “I was as the GM of the Mets, and will continue to be. Even with the Mets, I was pretty public about it being players first; celebrating players, giving them a chance to succeed and then rewarding them when they do.”

Van Wagenen cited his decision to put Pete Alonso on the Opening Day roster in 2019 without concern for how that would affect his service time.

“Player advocacy is in my heart,” Van Wagenen said.

The Mets hired Van Wagenen as their GM in October 2018 in a move with little precedent for a Major League team. Former Mets COO Jeff Wilpon believed Van Wagenen could thrive in the role given both his agent background and his familiarity with the Mets, having represented Yoenis Céspedes, Jacob deGrom, Todd Frazier and others in the past.

Once on board, however, Van Wagenen struggled to build a winning team. His first significant move was a trade for Robinson Canó and Edwin Díaz, which required the Mets to give up one of their top prospects, Jarred Kelenic, while also taking on the bulk of Canó’s contract, which still had five years and $120 million remaining. It’s a move that continues to affect the franchise today.

Van Wagenen also signed former client Jed Lowrie to a two-year, $20 million contract, and guaranteed $13 million to Rick Porcello and Michael Wacha -- moves that resulted in third- and fourth-place finishes for the Mets in Van Wagenen’s two seasons at the helm.

Van Wagenen did receive credit, however, for the trade that brought J.D. Davis to Queens, as well as for an aggressive MLB Draft strategy that netted top prospects Matthew Allan, Brett Baty, Pete Crow-Armstrong, J.T. Ginn and Josh Wolf -- the latter of whom became a key piece in the new front office’s trade for Francisco Lindor and Carlos Carrasco.

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The overall lack of success prompted incoming owner Steve Cohen to replace Van Wagenen with team president Sandy Alderson on the day the Mets’ sale became official. The Mets also dismissed assistant GMs Allard Baird and Adam Guttridge, special assistant Omar Minaya and farm director Jared Banner at that time; all but Minaya were Van Wagenen hires.

Van Wagenen will report directly to Roc Nation Sports founder Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter and company president Juan Perez.

“Brodie’s knowledge of the business is indisputable and unparalleled,'” Carter said in a statement. “Since we first worked with Brodie, we realized the shared commitment to athletes both on and off the field. He’s always been extended family and now it’s official.”

In his new role, Van Wagenen will develop and execute long-term organizational objectives for Roc Nation Sports and its athletes. Per the company’s release, Van Wagenen will bolster the company's operational framework to support its continued growth in player representation and strategic partnerships.

“I am extremely excited to welcome Brodie to the Roc family,” Perez said in a statement. “He was one of the first people I worked with in this business and his 20-plus years of expertise speaks for itself. I am looking forward to working side-by-side with him to continue growing Roc Nation Sports.”

While Van Wagenen’s prior career involved the representation of baseball players at both IMG and CAA Sports, he will work with all athletes represented by Roc Nation Sports. Among the agency’s client list are NFL stars Saquon Barkley, Todd Gurley, Juju Smith-Schuster and Leonard Fournette, as well as NBA stars Kyrie Irving and LaMelo Ball. Its current baseball roster includes Canó, Dominic Smith, Eddie Rosario, Jeremy Jeffress, Shelby Miller and Jazz Chisholm.

Van Wagenen and Roc Nation Sports have a history; Canó was among the agency’s first clients when it launched, partnering with Van Wagenen and CAA Sports to negotiate his 10-year, $240 million deal with the Mariners.

Van Wagenen was approached with numerous opportunities after he was dismissed by the Mets, including several baseball-specific jobs. He said he was attracted to Roc Nation Sports for the chance to lead a company and make an impact for a wide variety of athletes. Although he won’t work specifically as an agent for particular players, he will be involved in negotiations for Roc Nation Sports clients.