Mets Fans Bombarded GM Brodie Van Wagenen With Venmo Payments This Winter

Alex Greenberg
February 27, 2020 - 11:00 am

Mets fans aren’t usually shy when it comes to criticizing the Wilpons' ownership of the franchise.

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Ever since Fred Wilpon became the sole owner of the Mets in August of 2002, fans have voiced their frustrations over how the team is run financially, especially when results on the field have been poor. One of the biggest criticisms levied at the Wilpons is that they don’t spend enough to really make the Mets a contender, despite the fact that they play in a massive market like New York.

It seems like some fans have taken those financial frustrations into their own hands. The New York Times recently spoke with general manager Brodie Van Wagenen, and Van Wagenen told the paper that he has received hundreds of Mets-related payments and requests on Venmo.

This past offseason, when some fans were clamoring for the Mets to make a big free agent signing or to appoint a certain manager, Van Wagenen received small amounts of money on the mobile payment app with messages attached like “Sign (Anthony) Rendon” and “Hire (Joe) Girardi and bring back the black jerseys.”

Fred Wilpon
Photo credit USA TODAY Images

“I’m sort of embarrassed: I’ve never used Venmo,” said Van Wagenen. “And at the time, I didn’t realize I had a Venmo account until some of the emails and notifications started coming through.”

The Mets didn't end up with Rendon or with Girardi, but they still spent a good amount of money this winter. In an effort to improve the team’s pitching, Van Wagenen went out and got Rick Porcello and Dellin Betances, but there was no superstar signing like the Yankees’ addition of Gerrit Cole.

There were hopes that the Mets payroll might be set for a significant increase with a sale of the team, but that sale has apparently fallen apart. Billionaire Steve Cohen was trying to buy the Mets before his negotiations with the Wilpons broke down earlier in February.

The Mets aren't on the Yankees level, but their payroll has still increased recently. Their $174 million payroll this year will be the largest in the team's history. 

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