BOSTON — The Mets have plucked away one of the longest tenured members of the Red Sox front office, Allard Baird, who has been a mentor to many.
Baird is headed to New York as an assistant general manager and vice president of scouting and player development. He was hired in Boston originally by Theo Epstein, and was formerly the general manager of the Royals.
"Theo brought me over here in 2006 and I've been fortunate enough to be a part of two World Series," Baird said back in spring training, "and I'd like another one this year."
He got his wish.
Baird has long made it a point to help elevate and mentor those around him.
Jared Porter, the Diamondbacks assistant GM who used to work for the Red Sox, this year recalled a story of another longtime baseball person, Bill Lajoie, telling him how fortunate he was to be working with Baird.
"He called me one time, he’s like, 'You’re working for Allard, right?'" Porter remembered. "'I don’t think you know how lucky you are. There aren’t many people in this game that really care and like to develop younger people.'"
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Baird was in charge of what seems a relatively unique set-up with the Sox. The Red Sox have dedicated staff for scouting international professional players in countries such as Korea, Japan and Mexico. With most organizations, those scouts who see pro players abroad also handle international amateur scouting as well.
“I don’t think all clubs do it this way, for sure,” Baird said in an interview this year. “But I do think this falls in line with an organization that is aggressive and that takes the approach of exploring all the avenues in hope to add more assets to its talent pool, really I think that’s what it comes down to.”
Baird was around when the Sox started working this way.
“Ben [Cherington] is the person, at that time, he just said that he wanted to, when he took over, he really wanted to try to be more aggressive in emerging markets,” Baird said. “And at that time, Cuba was an area that he wanted focus in on.”
That department headed up the signing Hector Velazquez, as a recent example.
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