Carlos Beltran is back with the Mets in a new front office role, according to Jon Heyman, Joel Sherman, and Andrew Marchand of the New York Post. Beltran will work as an assistant to Mets GM Billy Eppler, SNY’s Andy Martino tweets. Beltran hasn’t officially signed a contract yet, though “it’s far enough down the line” that Beltran felt secure in leaving his broadcasting job at the YES Network.
The news comes a little over three years after Beltran stepped down as the club’s manager in the aftermath of the Astros sign-stealing scandal, as Beltran ended up resigning without ever actually managing the Mets in a regular-season game. The scandal created plenty of fallout around baseball, with the Red Sox also firing Alex Cora (who was the Astros’ bench coach in 2017) from his managerial post, and Houston fired both manager A.J. Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow. However, more than three years removed from the scandal, only Luhnow has yet to resurface in a new baseball-related role. The Red Sox re-hired Cora after the 2020 season was over, while the Tigers hired Hinch as their new skipper in advance of the 2021 campaign.
For Beltran, he returned to the fold last year, covering the Yankees as part of the YES Network’s team. Marchand reports that YES was going to shift Beltran from calling games into a studio position for pre-game and postgame coverage heading into 2023, though Beltran recently told the network that he wasn’t returning next season.
In terms of on-field jobs, the Padres had some interest in Beltran for a coaching role last winter. There were also speculative rumblings about a possible reunion between Beltran and the Mets last year, and Heyman, Sherman, and Marchand write that Beltran was indeed under consideration to be New York’s assistant hitting coach.
Instead, Beltran will now be working in the Amazins’ front office. This marks the second front office job of Beltran’s career, as he worked as a special assistant to Yankees GM Brian Cashman in 2019. The Yankees also considered hiring Beltran as manager before Aaron Boone got the job in the 2017-18 offseason, which would’ve marked an even quicker transition for Beltran given that he had only just ended his playing career when the Astros won the 2017 World Series.
While it raised some eyebrows when the Mets hired a manager who had never managed or coached at any level before, it wasn’t an entirely shocking move, given how much respect Beltran commanded around the game. Even before he retired, Beltran was often cited as a possible future manager, or a future front-office executive after he took the advisory role with the Yankees. Of course, that natural leadership ability was a double-edged sword, given that Beltran was reportedly the player who had the biggest role in the Astros’ sign-stealing methods, both helping to mastermind the plan and influencing teammates to follow suit.
No Astros players faced any punishment for their roles in the scandal, as the league gave players immunity in exchange for their details and information about the sign-stealing activities. Of course, Beltran did end up being unofficially punished via the loss of his managerial job, just two months after being hired. It is also fair to assume that the scandal impacted Beltran’s first appearance on the Hall of Fame ballot — while Beltran received a solid 46.5% of the vote and seems on pace to eventually be inducted, it is still a sharp drop for a player considered a shoo-in choice at the time of his retirement.