'Boomer And Gio': Should Zack Wheeler Feel Insulted By Van Wagenen's Comments?

Pitcher Takes Parting Shots At Mets GM

Boomer and Gio
December 17, 2019 - 10:04 am

Apparently Brodie Van Wagenen's comments about Zack Wheeler last week have created some bad blood between the pitcher and his former team. 

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But were the Mets general manager's remarks really so harsh? That was a question Boomer Esiason and Gregg Giannotti debated on WFAN's "Boomer and Gio" show on Tuesday morning.

After Wheeler signed a five-year, $118 million contract with the Phillies, Van Wagenen told reporters at the MLB Winter Meetings last week: "The projections we had for Zack, both short-term and long-term, didn’t quite match up to the market he was able to enjoy."

At his introductory news conference with the Phillies on Monday, Wheeler made it clear that Van Wagenen's words bothered him.

"I don't need any more motivation (on the field)," he said. "I already got it. But that's his opinion. Everybody’s entitled to their own opinion but, yeah, that may help me out a little bit.

"He wasn’t there the whole time. He only knows me from last year. He watched me, I guess, when he was watching his other players on the team."

Esiason said Van Wagenen should know better.

Mets pitcher Zack Wheeler pitches during the first inning against the Phillies on Sept. 17, 2018, at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia.

"Here's the problem: Brodie was an agent a year and a half ago. And here is Zack Wheeler -- he goes out, he tests the market, the Phillies paid for him -- and everybody who knows him should be happy for him," Boomer said. "And Brodie Van Wagenen -- I remember when he came out and said this -- 'we don't see this as a long-term thing.' I'm like, why is he saying this?

"I'm not saying he was wrong, but he should've said, 'We can't afford that.' Just tell the truth. You're not paying that kind of money for a guy I understand you don't think is worth that kind of money, especially the long-term investment that the Phillies gave him. I understand that. But you don't have to say it the way that he said it because it is condescending and it is insulting."

Giannotti said he disagreed that Van Wagenen's comments were insulting. 

"I thought that the language was sort of soft with the way that he said this," Gio said. "'The projections that we had for Zack, both short-term and long-term, didn't quite match up to the market he was able to enjoy.' Which is like the softest way of saying, like, 'We think that the Phillies overpaid for him,' and that's fine."

Added Esiason: "Especially the last two years, I thought he was a good Met. I thought he was a really good pitcher. And, look, I understand that there's going to be differences of opinions. I mean, Didi Gregorius is going through the same thing, and nobody wants to be kicked to the curb from your former team."

To listen to the open from Tuesday's "Boomer and Gio" show, click on the audio player above.