Former Mets GM Van Wagenen Joins JAY-Z, Roc Nation Sports

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Barry M. Bloom
·2 min read
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Brodie Van Wagenen, the former general manager of the New York Mets, has been named the chief operating officer and head of strategy and business development for Roc Nation Sports, it was announced Wednesday.

In his new position, Van Wagenen will work with and report directly to Roc Nation founder Shawn (Jay-Z) Carter and Juan Perez, the company’s president, executing long-term organizational objectives for Roc Nation Sports and its athletes.

“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.”

Van Wagenen was formerly an agent with 25 years of experience in the business for the baseball division of CAA Sports before he was hired in October 2018 by former owners Fred and Jeff Wilpon to replace Sandy Alderson as executive vice president and GM of the Mets. Alderson had left the team a few months earlier largely because of a recurrence of cancer.

When Steve Cohen agreed to buy the team last year in a transaction worth $2.42 billion, Van Wagenen was replaced by Alderson, who has fully recovered from his second bout with cancer. Now, Van Wagenen is back to doing what he knows best.

“For all of Jay-Z’s strengths and accomplishments, it is his commitment to helping others achieve their goals that stands out to me,” Van Wagenen said. “At Roc Nation, he and Juan Perez have created an ecosystem whereby the world’s best talent can maximize opportunities in a rapidly changing economy. I am honored and excited to join them in making client dreams become realities.”

Roc Nation represents a number of athletes across multiple sports and platforms, including Robinson Cano, Skylar Diggins-Smith, Kyrie Irving, LaMelo Ball, Kevin De Bruyne, Marcus Rashford, Romelu Lukaku, CC Sabathia, Saquon Barkley, Dez Bryant, Leonard Fournette, Danny Green, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Todd Gurley, Jaire Alexander and Ronnie Stanley.

In 2013, Van Wagenen teamed with Jay-Z to sign Cano, a former member of the New York Yankees and free agent at the time, to a 10-year, $240 million contract with the Seattle Mariners, then the richest contract for a second baseman and one of the most lucrative-ever for a position player.

Five years later, as Mets GM, Van Wagenen obtained Cano in a trade with the Mariners. Cano has twice tested positive for the use of performance-enhancing drugs and currently is suspended from Major League Baseball for the 2021 season and postseason.

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

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