The prospect of the New York Mets hiring agent Brodie Van Wagenen as general manager has alarmed a number of players, according to players' association executive director Tony Clark.
"I won't tell you how many calls or how many texts I have gotten," Clark said Friday before Game 3 of the World Series in Los Angeles. "I will simply suggest to you that our membership is paying attention."
Van Wagenen, whose division at Creative Artists Agency represents Mets players Jacob deGrom, Yoenis Cespedes, Noah Syndergaard and Todd Frazier, is one of two finalists to replace Sandy Alderson as GM. The other is Chaim Bloom, the Tampa Bay Rays' senior vice president of baseball operations.
But Clark suggested players are concerned that the information about players Van Wagenen gained in his role as an agent could be used against them in future negotiations.
"They understand the opportunities that exist for representatives to make the decisions that they are going to make," Clark said. "To the extent that possibility exists, I would be confident in suggesting that the understanding and appreciation for confidential information remains so."
High-profile agent Scott Boras said on The Michael Kay show on 98.7 ESPN New York that players would have good reason to be concerned, and said it was important for all parties in a negotiation to have "defined roles."
"When you're fluid and you're going from agency to management, the fact of the matter is, how does a player know that you won't make that change at any time," Boras said. "Why would he tell you the most intimate things in the world, knowing you're going to be negotiating against him?
"And more importantly, the owner that hires someone, how do they know, owner know, while they might be expressing loyalty to you, they also have a group of people that they worked with for a long time who they were loyal to. How do they know that he won't shift that loyalty from you to the other side?"
Boras also said that interviewing for a front-office job could damage any agent's ability to continue representing clients.
"If you're sitting down with an owner, and he always knows what your role, and he knows what is said to you is said in the confidence of that role, he also knows you'll never be another owner," Boras said. "He knows you'll never be a GM for another team. He knows that you're defined in your role, therefore he'll say more to you because your role is defined and he understands your philosophy."