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Red Sox lose mentor, longtime exec Allard Baird to Mets

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Red Sox lose mentor, longtime exec Allard Baird to Mets

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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Rafael Devers joins elite company with 2019 numbers vs. Blue Jays

Rafael Devers joins elite company with 2019 numbers vs. Blue Jays

With their series vs. the Red Sox wrapped up, the Blue Jays are happy to not have to see Rafael Devers in the batter's box for a while.

Devers is having a monster year, and much of his damage this season has been done against Toronto. In fact, the 22-year-old set a record on Wednesday for most RBI in a single season vs. the Jays with 25. In Thursday's game, he blasted a three-run home run to make it 28 RBI.

The homer marked Devers' eighth of the year against Toronto. With his eight homers and 28 RBI, Devers joins some legendary company. He's one of only five players ever to have 8+ HR and 28 RBI vs. a single opponent in one season. Mel Ott, Hal Trosky, Joe DiMaggio, and Mickey Mantle are the others.

Not a bad group to be in.

Devers will look to keep his hot streak going this weekend as the Red Sox begin a three-game series vs. the lowly Orioles.

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Here's when Red Sox pitcher Nathan Eovaldi could be activated

Here's when Red Sox pitcher Nathan Eovaldi could be activated

It appears Nathan Eovaldi is close to making his long-awaited return to the mound.

The Red Sox right-hander underwent arthroscopic surgery to remove loose bodies in his right elbow on April 23 and has dealt with setbacks due to bicep soreness throughout his rehab. But in Alex Cora's appearance Wednesday on WEEI's "Ordway, Fauria & Merolini," he revealed Eovaldi could be activated as soon as this weekend.

On Thursday, Eovaldi saw game action for the first time since April, pitching a scoreless inning for the PawSox and striking out the side.

Cora revealed after Eovaldi's successful rehab outing he'll be traveling with the team to Baltimore, though he won't be activated on Friday.

When Eovaldi does return, he'll be tasked with helping to straighten out the Red Sox' ongoing bullpen issues.

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