Mets Front Office Overhaul: Getting to know the new faces
By Dan Ringel
The New York Mets made major changes to the front office this winter. Let’s take a look at those new faces.
This offseason, the New York Mets have made serious moves in regards to overhauling the team roster, but general manager Brodie Van Wagenen has also made some drastic changes to the front office.
This winter, Allard Baird was hired as the Vice President and assistant general manager for scouting and player development. Baird is a 57-year-old baseball-lifer who has been working in major league baseball since 1988.
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Baird began as a hitting coach for High-A level Appleton affiliate of the Kansas City Royals. He climbed the organizational ladder and would eventually become assistant General Manager in 1999. One year later, in 2000, he replaced Herk Robinson as General Manager of the Royals.
Baird remained in this role for six seasons and made various high-profile moves, some of which were excellent, others not so much. In 2001, he traded Johnny Damon to the Oakland Athletics getting very little in return.
However, one year later, Baird identified serious talent in Zack Greinke and drafted him 6th overall in 2002. In 2004, Baird selected Billy Butler in the first round. In 2005 he selected Alex Gordon in the first round.
One of the most criticized moves of his career came in 2004 when he traded Carlos Beltran to the Houston Astros for John Buck, Mike Wood, and Mark Teahen from Oakland. Baird was fired in 2006 and replaced by Dayton Moore after a rough start to the season.
Baird then joined the Boston Red Sox front office in 2006 and would eventually become VP/ Player Personnel by 2013. Under his tenure, the Red Sox won three world series and he helped identify talents such as Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts, and Andrew Benintendi.
Baird joined the Mets this offseason and clearly has an eye for talent that the Mets will certainly appreciate.
Adam Guttridge was hired this offseason to the role of Assistant General Manager. He will be responsible for overseeing the analytical department across the organization and work closely with Van Wagenen and Baird.
Previously, Guttridge had been an independent consultant to MLB teams working with the Milwaukee Brewers and Colorado Rockies.
The Analytical side of the organization is something that was fairly neglected under the previous regime, and Chief Operating Officer Jeff Wilpon has said it was a priority to advance the analytics department in order to catch up to other teams.
Guttridge founded Normalized Empirical Individual Forecasting Index (NEIFI) with David Ogren which is a firm that evaluates talent and offers projections through an analytical system to both professional and NCAA baseball.
At 32-years-old, Jared Banner is a Brooklyn native who grew up a fan of the Mets. He joins the front office staff as Director of Player Development after working with the Boston Red Sox for over 10 years. He joined the Red Sox front office in 2007 and was an assistant in player development from 2008-2009.
In 2009-2010, Banner worked in amateur scouting. From 2010-2012 he worked as a coordinator of amateur scouting. Promoted in 2013, Banner then became assistant director of player personnel through 2015. In 2016, he was promoted to director of player personnel and finally became the vice president of player personnel in 2017 and 2018.
By age 32, Banner had climbed the ladder within the Red Sox organization extremely fast and it is clear that they became very fond of him. However, Banner saw an opportunity to return to his hometown of New York and work for his childhood favorite team. It is exciting and unique to see Banner leave his prominent position in the Red Sox organization to help steer the Mets in the right direction.
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Welcome aboard Mr. Banner and the rest of the crew!