Beltrán to join Mets as special assistant to GM (source)

February 6th, 2023

NEW YORK -- Carlos Beltrán, one of the most decorated position players in Mets franchise history, who briefly served as manager of the team but never spent a game in the dugout in that capacity, is returning to the organization. The team has hired Beltrán as a special assistant to general manager Billy Eppler, a source said Sunday. The club has not confirmed the hiring.

Beltrán, 45, will be leaving the YES Network, for which he served as a color commentator on Yankees games during the 2022 season. His exact duties within the Mets’ front office remain unclear, but this will be Beltrán’s second front-office job since retiring as a player in '17 -- he also served as a special assistant to Yankees general manager Brian Cashman in '19.

Late that year, the Mets named Beltrán their manager, but the sides parted ways after his role in the Astros’ sign-stealing scandal came to light. Beltrán, who played for Houston in 2017 when it won the first World Series title in franchise history, was the only player named in Major League Baseball’s report on the scandal.

Now, Beltrán is back in New York in a front-office capacity. He first crossed paths with Eppler in 2014, when Beltrán signed a free-agent contract with the Yankees and Eppler was the assistant GM in the Bronx.

As a player, Beltrán was perhaps best known for his work in Queens, where he made five All-Star teams in seven seasons, earning three Gold Glove Awards and two Silver Slugger Awards. In addition to his time with the Mets and Yankees, the center fielder spent portions of his 20-year career in Kansas City, Houston, San Francisco, St. Louis and Texas. He made nine All-Star teams in total, slashing .279/.350/.486 with 435 home runs and 312 stolen bases in his career. Beltrán was the 1999 American League Rookie of the Year with the Royals and proved to be one of the best hitters in postseason history, with a 1.021 OPS and 16 home runs in 65 career playoff games.

Beltrán appeared on the Hall of Fame ballot for the first time this year, receiving 46.5 percent of the vote as Baseball Writers’ Association of America members weighed his career statistics against his involvement in the Astros scandal. A candidate is on the ballot for up to 10 years if he continues to receive more than 5 percent of the vote, and 75 percent is needed for election.