Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen: Jacob deGrom is ‘best pitcher in baseball’ and ‘I hope to keep him’

The New York Mets officially introduced Brodie Van Wagenen as the club's new general manager Tuesday, and the agent-turned-executive expressed his desire to keep his former client Jacob deGrom in Flushing.

"Jacob deGrom clearly has established as the best pitcher in baseball," Van Wagenen said during his press conference Tuesday. "I believe Jacob deGrom is an incredible talent and I hope to keep him for a long time."

Van Wagenen previously represented deGrom, the presumed 2018 National League Cy Young winner, and critics have pointed out the potential for conflicts of interests when negotiating with former clients.

Mets chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon said the concern has been addressed with a number of parties and there are safeguards in place.

"I had conversations with the commissioner's office, LRD (labor relations department) and (MLBPA director) Tony Clark directly," Wilpon said. "We have provisions in Brodie's contract to deal with any conflicts of interests."

Van Wagenen said he discussed his move with deGrom and other clients before taking the job and that there was "a tremendous amount of enthusiasm and support."

The 30-year-old righty is under team control through 2020 and coming off his best season in the majors, posting a 1.70 ERA in 32 starts for the Mets, who finished fourth in the NL East.

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