Carlos Beltran, hired by the New York Mets in November, won’t get to manage a single game.
Major League Baseball’s sign-stealing scandal has now claimed its third casualty.
Carlos Beltran, implicated by Commissioner Rob Manfred in his report on the Houston Astros scheme to steal signs from opposing teams, has informed the New York Mets he is stepping down as manager, according to a report by Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports.
Beltran’s tenure in New York is coming to an end just three months after it began and without him ever managing a game for the Mets. He was named manager back in November after a 20-year big league career that ended in 2017.
It was that one season, 2017, spent with the Astros that proved to be Beltran’s undoing. He was the only player named in the report as instigating the Astros sign-stealing system. According to the report released on Monday, Beltran was part of a group of players that discussed ways of decoding opposing teams’ signs. The Astros went on to win the World Series, with Beltran making 21 plate appearances in the postseason.
He wasn’t disciplined for taking part in the scheme, nor was any other player. Astros manager A.J. Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow were suspended for a year before being fired on Monday, while Alex Cora, manager of the Boston Red Sox who served as bench coach for the Astros in 2017, was relieved of his duties by the Red Sox on Tuesday.
Beltran’s hiring in November was supposed to usher in a new era for the Mets, a popular former player returning to New York who was able to command respect in the clubhouse. That he’s gone less than three months later reveals how deeply the sign-stealing scandal has affected the league and permanently stained the reputations of four men.
The Mets, moreover, are now left without a bench boss less than a month before players start reporting for Spring Training. If they look internally for a new manager, the best candidate is bench coach Hensley Meulens, who was previously the hitting coach for the San Francisco Giants and won three World Series titles. He interviewed for the Yankees top job before the 2018 season.
For now, the Mets and the league as a whole will try to move on from the biggest scandal to hit the sport since the Steroid Era. But first they need to begin the search for a new manager for the second time this offseason.