PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Brodie Van Wagenen has sold himself as a players-first general manager, and one of the best in Mets history is buying that.
“One of Brodie’s best qualities is honesty and how much he has brought over the passion that he has for the players,” said David Wright, in camp Monday as part of his new special adviser role. “Everything that he’s said so far, whether it’s been behind closed doors in some of these free-agency or trade discussions, he’s been very transparent in everything that he said. Maybe [that] hasn’t worked necessarily the way he wanted to, but he’s been open about it and candid about everything.”
Put another way: Van Wagenen says what he means and means what he says.
That is particularly noteworthy when it comes to the Mets’ first-base race.
Pete Alonso (.360/.396/.680, four homers, nine RBIs) and Dominic Smith (.349/.404/.465, one homer, nine RBIs) are having very good springs.
The Mets have said the best 25 players will start the regular season in the majors — not letting Alonso’s service-time considerations factor in — and that carrying both first basemen is a possibility.
“[Van Wagenen has] been transparent, which as players, that’s what we want. We want to be told if you play well, you’re going to make the team,” Wright said. “As of right now, it doesn’t look as if you could go wrong with either one of them. They’re both having tremendous springs.”
Gomez’s return debut
Carlos Gomez went 0-for-2 in the Mets’ 6-5 loss to the Nationals, his first Grapefruit League game of the year after getting his work visa issue settled.
It was his first game with the Mets since Sept. 29, 2007, his rookie year. That winter, they traded him to the Twins as part of the package for Johan Santana.
“There was a lot of emotion,” Gomez said. “Exciting, nervous, happy. It’s a dream come true coming back here and doing what I love.”
Jeurys Familia got the start against the Nats, pitching one scoreless inning (two strikeouts) to check off his “pitch on consecutive days” box. He was in a minors game Sunday . . . Rule 5 pick Kyle Dowdy tossed three scoreless innings, lowering his ERA to 7.36. . . Travis d’Arnaud (Tommy John surgery) is scheduled to catch Thursday and Friday. Starting behind the plate on consecutive days is one of his final hurdles … Yoenis Cespedes invited teammates and other Mets employees to a barbecue Wednesday, scheduled to be the Mets’ second and final off day of spring training. He is hosting it at “La Potencia Ranch,” his 206-acre property just outside Port St. Lucie.