The Mets on Wednesday hired Allard Baird to be their vice president and assistant GM of scouting and player development. He leaves the Red Sox, where he had been the senior VP of player personnel.
"I'm thrilled to join the Mets and am ready for this opportunity to help build the Mets into perennial contenders," Baird said in an official statement. "A key ingredient that drew me to this role was Brodie's leadership and vision."
In late 2010, Baird interviewed to be GM of the Mets, who instead hired Sandy Alderson.
Baird, 57, grew up in New Hampshire, and served as GM of the Royals for six seasons before joining the Red Sox, with whom he went from special assistant for Theo Epstein to his most recent role as an integral part of Boston's front office the past few seasons.
Baird recently told reporters that, despite being GM of the Royals for six seasons, his biggest accomplishment was the key role he played in helping quickly rebuild the Red Sox -- with them winning three division titles and a World Championship.
"His job had basically been to find guys that could have an immediate impact at Fenway," a friend inside the Red Sox told me. "He had several people reporting to him, a lot of scouts, and they all worked together unearthing low-risk, high-reward talent."
For instance, in 2016, it was Baird's group that advocated signing then-free agent Mitch Moreland, who was coming off a terrible season, despite previous success. In two seasons since, Moreland has hit .246 with 37 home runs and produced 2.9 WAR, while being paid $6.5 million each season.
Prior to joining the Sox, Baird was hired in 1988 by the Royals, where he split his time between being a scout and Triple-A hitting coach. He eventually moved up to being a full-time scout and made a name for himself in player development. Ten years after joining the organization, he was promoted to vice-president of player development and eventually serving as assistant to the general manager before being named GM in June of 2000.
During his six seasons at the helm, Baird traded off home grown, soon-to-be free agents Johnny Damon, Carlos Beltran, and Jermaine Dye. In return, Baird acquired multiple top prospects, but none panned out to be elite big league players. Baird was fired in 2006 and replaced by Dayton Moore, who built the Kansas City roster that eventually defeated the Mets in the 2015 World Series.
"This is a really good move by the Mets and Brodie Van Wagenen," a rival team executive told me. "He's respected around the game, he has a huge network and he's really seen it all. He was up against a wall in Kansas City, but really showed his ability to identify talent in Boston."
In the last week, the Mets have added three important pieces to their management -- the first being Jim Riggleman, who was hired to be Mickey Callaway's bench coach. Next, they hired the young, respected, up-and-coming Adam Guttridge, who is expected to front the rebuilding of the team's analytics and baseball systems department. Lastly, the veteran Baird.
Matthew Cerrone (Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Contact) is lead writer of MetsBlog.com, which he created in 2003. He also hosts the MetsBlog Podcast, which you can subscribe to here. His new book, The New York Mets Fans' Bucket List, details 44 things every Mets fan should experience during their lifetime. To check it out, click here!