With his $2.475 billion purchase of the New York Mets finally closing late last week, Steve Cohen is officially in charge of the Mets.
And his first order of business is cleaning house. Cohen immediately fired general manager Brodie Van Wagenen and special assistant Omar Minaya, who has was the team’s GM for 6 years between 2004 and 2010. Also leaving the team are executives Allard Baird, Adam Guttridge and Jared Banner, according to the Washington Post.
For Van Wagenen, a sports agent for 14 years, taking over as GM was an “outside the box” idea to begin with. Cohen looks to very much want to stay inside the box – just as he does on Wall Street. Meanwhile, there’s no word on whether or not the dismissed employees are going to be replaced with quantitative analysts or simply just servers running algorithms…
Team President Sandy Alderson said: “I want to thank Brodie, Allard, Adam and Jared for their contributions over the last two years. I especially want to thank Omar for his long and distinguished service to the Mets in many important capacities.”
In the running to take over baseball operations for the team are “Oakland Athletics assistant general manager and director of player personnel Billy Owens, Tampa Bay Rays special assistant to the general manager Bobby Heck, Arizona Diamondbacks senior vice president and assistant general manager Amiel Sawdaye and Peter Woodfork, MLB’s senior vice president of baseball operations,” according to WaPo.
Van Wagenen stated: “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. 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.”
He continued: “Congratulations to Steve Cohen on the purchase of your home-town team. I hope that your energy, competitiveness and resources will be welcomed by Major League Baseball. The sport can benefit from your fearlessness and aggressiveness.”
Cohen’s acquisition was approved by a vote of 26-4 and the first step he took was restoring the salary of all Mets employees.
“The 2021 season is right around the corner and we’ve got a lot of work to do, so I’m excited to get started,” Cohen said.