NEW YORK -- The Mets spent most of Monday morning and afternoon holed up at Citi Field with former Royals general manager Allard Baird, the first candidate to interview for the club's vacant GM post.
White Sox assistant GM Rick Hahn is scheduled to interview at Citi Field on Tuesday, followed by former D-backs GM Josh Byrnes on Wednesday and former A's and Pirates GM Sandy Alderson on either Thursday or Friday.
Baird, 48, spent 6 1/2 seasons last decade as general manager of the Royals. Due to payroll constraints in Kansas City, he became most famous for trading away young stars Johnny Damon, Jermaine Dye and Carlos Beltran, on each occasion receiving little in return.
Because Baird's background is in scouting, it is perhaps little surprise that Kansas City's most productive moves under his watch came during various First-Year Player Drafts -- most notably when the Royals selected starting pitcher Zack Greinke in 2002 and first baseman Billy Butler in 2004.
After the Royals dismissed him in 2006, Baird hooked on with the Red Sox, quickly rising to his current post of assistant to general manager Theo Epstein.
Baird interviewed on Monday with Mets chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon, assistant general manager John Ricco and other front-office executives. After meeting with Hahn, Byrnes and Alderson later this week, the Mets will proceed to the next phase of the interview process, reconnecting with the finalists.
The Mets relieved Omar Minaya of his GM duties last Monday and announced that they did not intend to pick up the 2011 option on manager Jerry Manuel's contract. Only after the Mets choose a new GM -- a process they hope to complete before the start of the World Series -- will their search for a manager begin.