Beltran ready to manage Yanks? He's in mix

Recently retired slugger regarded as influential presence

November 28th, 2017

NEW YORK -- Less than a month after hoisting the World Series trophy with the Astros, is joining the crowded field of Yankees managerial candidates.

Beltran was at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday as the sixth candidate to formally interview with general manager Brian Cashman and a group of Yankees executives. The recently retired outfielder and designated hitter, who hit 435 home runs over his 20-year big league career with seven organizations, has consistently expressed an interest in managing.

Beltran could become managerial trailblazer

"With the experience that I have in the game of baseball, the times I've played, different teams that I've played for, I've gotten to see different ways to do things in the clubhouse and for the players," Beltran said earlier this month. "How to motivate them, how to impact them in a way where they continue to improve. I would love that opportunity, for sure."

Beltran, 40, could fill a key requirement of the Yankees' vacancy. Cashman said that the Yanks parted ways with manager Joe Girardi due to issues with "communication and connectivity" in the clubhouse. Beltran, with whom Cashman has said that he enjoys a close personal relationship, would figure to have no such issues.

The switch-hitting slugger was widely viewed as an unofficial but influential player-coach on several of his recent teams, including this year's Astros, with whom Beltran occasionally served as a liaison between the team's analytics department and the players in the clubhouse. While with the Yankees from 2014-16, he was often credited by the team's younger players as having had a sizable impact both on and off the field.

"He had leadership qualities, no question about that," Cashman said during the General Managers Meetings in Orlando, Fla. "He was someone that people gravitated to in the clubhouse. I think managers, coaches or front offices could rely on him kind of directing things in a positive way, keeping the ship steered in the right direction from a player's standpoint.

"There's certainly a lot more aspects to the Major League manager profile that I couldn't answer. I do know there's an interest there, he's played the game a long time and he's obviously got the respect of his peers. He's bilingual. He brings a lot to the table."

In Spring Training 2016, Beltran approached Yankees clubhouse manager Rob Cucuzza to request a locker next to prospect , viewing the future American League Rookie of the Year as his heir apparent in right field.

"That Spring Training, there was actually a moment when we were doing relay throws on the back fields, and I asked him, 'How's it been for you, with the ups and downs each year?'" Judge said. "He said, 'You've got to realize, you could be hot for the first couple months, or you could be bad the first couple months, but that's just baseball, it's all going even out. ... To hear that from a veteran presence in that situation was pretty cool to hear."

In his post-playing career, Beltran has said he wants to spend more time with his wife, Jessica, and their three children, but his family is based in New York, making the Yanks one of the few ideal jobs for his situation.

"I had the opportunity to play with the Yankees for three years and I enjoyed myself, big-time," Beltran said. "I appreciated the way I was treated; my family, the relationship with Brian. I don't know what they're looking for. Experience as a manager, I don't have that. But I have the passion for the game, I have the knowledge of being able to play the game for a long time. I get along well with the players, with my teammates; I've always taken that to heart, trying to impact my teammates in a positive way.

"I would not discount anything; you're talking about the New York Yankees. You're not just talking about any team in baseball. Not taking anything away from any other organization, but the Yankees are a team that anyone would love to put on that uniform and manage that ballclub."

Rob Thomson, Eric Wedge, Hensley Meulens, Aaron Boone and Chris Woodward previously interviewed for the managerial vacancy. Jerry Hairston Jr. is also expected to be interviewed.