Carlos Beltran's tenure as manager at the Mets ended on Thursday with zero wins, zero losses and a huge connection to a fraud scheme.
After Beltran was included in MLB's Astros sign theft report, the Mets decided that the rookie manager was unsuitable for the role he was hired for. They separated from Beltran, although they officially described the departure as a mutually acceptable agreement.
Beltran was ousted the third manager to join Houston A.J. Hinch and Boston's Alex Cora used the Astros in 2017, when they won the World Series, for electronic surveillance to steal the signals from the catchers. Beltran was an Astros player at the time. Houston General Manager Jeff Luhnow was also released that week.
"As an organization, it is important that everyone knows that we believe in fair competition and that it is important in professional sports," said Brodie Van Wagenen, General Manager of Mets. "We appreciate Major League Baseball's thorough research, results and decisions."
Van Wagenen said Team Brass was unfamiliar with the Astros' link to illegal sign theft when Beltran was interviewed for the job and only became aware of the situation when a report from The Athletic outlined the situation on November 12 in this report Van Wagenen said the Mets had stayed away from the issue with Beltran and allowed MLB to complete the investigation.
According to Jeff Wilpon, the team's COO, the Mets weren't worried until this week when Beltran's name appeared in Manfred's report.
"We have learned from sources that Carlos will not be suspended," said Wilpon. "I think the change came when the report came out of how prominent it was."
Wilpon and Van Wagenen met with MLB representatives in New York on Wednesday before flying to Port St. Lucie, Florida, where Beltran met with coaches to prepare for spring training. According to Wilpon, the decision to separate the ways was made, but both sides slept an extra night before the separation was completed. Post has learned that Beltran is not paid by the Mets, but instead donates $ 200,000 to his foundation. Wilpon was also asked what role the potential owner Steve Cohen, who was negotiating to become the majority owner of the team, played in the decision.
“My process is to guide the organization through due diligence and everything we've done here, and then report back to Fred [Wilpon] and that's exactly what I did, ”said Jeff Wilpon.
Beltran's appeal to the Mets officials was the credibility he showed to the organization, but it was damaged by his connection to illegal theft of signs. There was also concern that Beltran's ability to gain an advantage for the team through his or her awareness could be compromised.
In November, Beltran denied the misconduct of illegal sign theft in a separate text message exchange with Swiss Post. In the past few days, at least one team official had asked Beltran to take a step forward, admit wrongdoing, and apologize. But Beltran only came to this point after he left the organization when he made a statement.
"During my 20 years in the game, I've always been proud to be a leader and do things right," said Beltran. “As an experienced player in the team, I should have recognized the seriousness of the problem and really regretted the measures taken. I am a man of faith and integrity and what has happened has not shown the qualities that are so important to me and my family.
"I am very sorry. I am not the father, the husband, the teammate and the educator. The Mets organization and I agree that we will work for the common good without further distractions. I hope that at some point I will Will have an opportunity to return to this game that I love so much. "
The Mets must hire a third manager within 27 months. Beltran had previously replaced Mickey Callaway, who had been released a year before the contract ended. Callaway replaced the longest serving manager in franchise history, Terry Collins, in October 2017.
Van Wagenen said he would consider internal and external candidates for the position. Other finalists for the post-season job were ESPN analyst Eduardo Perez and National First Base coach Tim Bogar. Another finalist, Derek Shelton, was hired to manage the pirates. Internally, the Mets could look at Hensley Meulens, Luis Rojas, quality control coach, and Tony DeFrancesco, first base coach. Buck Showalter and Dusty Baker are two veteran names that have a full resume. White Sox bank coach "Super" Joe McEwing, a finalist in hiring Callaway, told acquaintances that managing the Mets was his dream job. McEwing attended college in New Jersey and played for the Mets in the early 2000s.
"This team is one we believe in," said Van Wagenen. "We believe this team can keep up and we want to make sure we have the right support system in place to achieve their success."