By: Billy Lewis
Carlos Beltran was thought to be heading back to Citi Field for the 2020 season. Beltran played for the Mets from 2005-2011 and was named manager earlier this offseason.
Of course, this offseason has been anything but quiet for Major League Baseball. The Houston Astros sign-stealing scandal of 2017 has rocked the baseball world. Rob Manfred announced the Astros punishment earlier this week.
Since Manfred’s verdict, four individuals involved have lost their jobs: Beltran, AJ Hinch, Alex Cora, and Jeff Luhnow. Beltran is the only one that was a player in 2017 and seemingly becoming the only player involved in the scandal to be punished. Manfred’s punishment was strictly handed down to the Astros and year-long suspensions for Hinch and Luhnow (Alex Cora has not been punished as MLB is still investigating into the Red Sox alleged sign-stealing in 2018).
New York Mets Fallout
The argument can be made that the Mets are actually the biggest losers when it comes to the scandal. Yes, the Astros are losing draft picks as well as being fined. The Red Sox fate is still to be decided, but both of those teams have World Championships to look back on. The Mets, however, were just caught in the crossfire.
Beltran was an apparent great candidate as a would-be, first-year manager. Beltran retired following the Astros Championship in 2017. That offseason he interviewed for the New York Yankees manager position. The job went to Aaron Boone, but Beltran became a special advisor to the General Manager prior to the 2019 season.
It seemed inevitable at the time that Beltran would become a manager in the future, and he did…..for two and a half months. The Mets were in a difficult spot after the firing of Hinch and Cora. On one hand, Hinch, Cora, and Beltran were all found to play pivotal roles in the electronic sign stealing. Cora and Beltran were the two biggest masterminds in the scheme.
On the other hand, Beltran was just a player at the time and players had escaped punishment. Had Beltran stayed on to manage the Mets in 2020, the scandal would have been brought up nearly every day. Thursday afternoon the Mets and Beltran both decided it would be best for Beltran to step down as Mets manager.
We can’t know for sure how Beltran would have fared as a manager. Though when he accepted the job it brought optimism to Met fans. Now as we sit about a month away from Spring Training, the Mets will have to go back to the drawing board in search of a new skipper.