Mets GM Van Wagenen, others out as Cohen takes over team

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FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2019, file photo, New York Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen pauses while speaking to the media following spring training baseball practice in Port St. Lucie, Fla. Van Wagenen and many of his top aides are out, moves announced less than an hour after hedge fund manager Steve Cohen completed his $2.4 billion purchase of the team Friday, Nov. 6, 2020. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File)

NEW YORK – General manager Brodie Van Wagenen and many of his top aides left the New York Mets on Friday less than an hour after hedge fund manager Steve Cohen announced he completed his $2.4 billion purchase of the team.

Special assistant to the general manager Omar Minaya, assistant general managers Allard Baird and Adam Guttridge and executive director of player development Jared Banner also departed.

The status of senior vice president and senior strategy officer John Ricco was not mentioned.

Cohen ended the Wilpon family's control of the franchise after 34 mostly frustrating years and took the title of chief executive officer. He hired former Mets general manager Sandy Alderson as team president in his first move and ended Jeff Wilpon's tenure as chief operating officer.

Alderson, not Cohen, announced the baseball staff departures and said he had started the process of building a leadership staff.

“This is a significant milestone in the history of this storied franchise," Cohen said in a statement. “The 2021 season is right around the corner and we’ve got a lot of work to do, so I’m excited to get started.”

Van Wagenen was a player agent and co-head of CAA Baseball before Wilpon hired him to replace Alderson after the 2018 season. The Mets went 86-76, finishing third in the NL East. and Van Wagenen fired manager Mickey Callaway and replaced him with Carlos Beltrán.

But when Beltrán was implicated in January by baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred in the Houston Astros sign stealing scandal during Beltrán's final season as a player in 2017, Beltrán lost his job within days without managing a game and was replaced by qualify control coach Luis Rojas. New York went 26-34 and missed the expanded playoffs.