With every reason to feel distracted, Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen says he is not.
The Wilpon and Katz families, owners of the Mets, are seeking to sell the team before the end of the year, and on Thursday, they took opening offers from suitors. Those include hedge fund billionaire and minority owner Steve Cohen of Great Neck, a group headed by Alex Rodriguez and Jennifer Lopez, and Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment, which owns the NBA 76ers and NHL Devils.
A change in ownership could bring an end to Van Wagenen’s tenure as GM, but he said Friday: “For me and the baseball operations department, it’s business as usual. I anticipate it remaining that way until there is, or if there is, a change.”
Van Wagenen said he speaks daily with COO Jeff Wilpon and regularly with CEO Fred Wilpon and that his department will “try to build the best team we can and create an environment where this team can win each and every year.
“I have said publicly as it relates to my own job and my satisfaction level is that I like my job. I’m very confident I’ll be able to enjoy working in this job a long time.”
No word on Cano
Second baseman Robinson Cano did not participate in the Mets’ preseason workouts for a fourth straight day. Van Wagenen confirmed that he was absent, but when asked about it, he replied, “There’s a variety of reasons why players are here or not here on a given day, and we’re going to protect the players’ rights to just keep those reasons quiet.”
The Mets’ policy has done little to quell speculation about Cano, but one general answer by the GM about players opting out would make it appear that’s not why he wasn’t at Citi Field.
“Every player has expressed a desire to play, and we haven’t had have any players express . . . the potential of opting out,” he said. “Now obviously, of course, things can change down the road, but at this point, all of our players have made it clear to us that they want to be here.”
Van Wagenen said Jed Lowrie, who had only eight plate appearances last season because of a leg injury, has impressed with his at-bats in scrimmages, but he added that the team is still looking for his “explosiveness” running and “effectiveness” fielding . . . Van Wagenen said the Mets plan to open MCU Stadium — where the Class A Cyclones play — for their pool players to work out sometime next week.