New York: The New York Mets have agreed to terms with Carlos Beltran to be their next manager. Beltran, a nine-time All-Star was a World Series champion with the Houston Astros in 2017 in his final year as an active player. The three-time Gold Glove winner, and American League Rookie of the Year, had a successful career with the Mets for 6-½ seasons after signing a record seven-year $119 million contract under then GM Omar Minaya.
He was also the fifth player to reach both 400 home runs and 300 stolen bases and just the fourth switch hitter with 400 home runs.
Beltrán played with the Mets from 2005-2011. He ranks sixth on the club’s all-time list in the following categories: home runs (149), RBI (559), extra-base hits (374), on-base percentage (.369) and slugging percentage (.500).
“Congratulations to Carlos. We are thrilled, as we know our passionate fans will be, to have him back in the family,” said Mets COO Jeff Wilpon. “Thanks to Brodie and the entire baseball operations staff on this expansive, diverse and collaborative managerial search process.”
Beltrán will be the ninth person to both play for and manage the Mets, joining Gil Hodges, Yogi Berra, Joe Torre, Bud Harrelson, Roy McMillan, Dallas Green, Bobby Valentine, Willie Randolph (as well as interim manager Mike Cubbage).
“Thanks to Jeff and the ownership group for their ongoing support as we worked through a very detailed managerial search process,” said Mets Executive Vice President and General Manager Brodie Van Wagenen. “We are very excited to bring Carlos on board as our next manager and re-introduce him to Mets fans next week.”
A former Latino Sports MVP Award recipient, Beltran, a native of Manati Puerto Rico, remained a resident of New York City and this season was a special advisor to Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman.
The official announcement from the Mets will occur at Citi Field Monday morning when Beltran will formally be introduced before the media. Beltan will also be the first Latino manager of the Mets and succeeds Mickey Callaway who was dismissed after two seasons.
This ends the speculation and names that were mentioned in the process of this manager search that went back and forth the past month. Reportedly, Minaya was in favor of hiring Beltran as was former Kansas City Royals GM Allard Baird who is an assistant to Van Wagenen.
Baird was instrumental in bringing Beltran to the Royals and welcomed him as his first team in 1998. Beltran becomes eligible for a potential induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2022.
And it was search that reportedly included Alex Rodriguez. Sources said last weekend, Rodriguez had a sit down dinner with Mets’ owners Fred and Jeff Wilpon in Washington D.C. at the World Series. Rodriguez, an ESPN and Fox Sports baseball analyst was asked to consider an opportunity to manage the team and he also gave input and endorsed Beltran.
Also, as the World Series progressed, the Mets continued to inquire about Astros manager AJ Hinch, a close friend of Brodie Van Wagenen. A source said that Hinch wanted to pursue his interest in the job and the Astros were denying him that opportunity.
Either way, the Mets have a new manager in place, Beltran, with no managerial experience, is respected and has good communication with players and knows how to work the clubhouse.
He brings knowledge and the ability to understand players that also includes a bond with those of Latino descent on the roster. He already has endorsements from players on the current Mets roster.
“He has such a high baseball IQ,” said outfielder JD Davis. “I think it was only a matter of time until he popped up as a possible manager candidate. I think he will help us tremendously as our manager in big games and throughout the season.”
Davis, a third round draft pick of the Astros in 2014, was acquired by the Mets last offseason and knows Beltran from his days with the Astros. He developed into an everyday player this past season, hit 22 home runs with 57 RBI as an infielder and became the Mets left fielder as the season progressed.
“He helped a lot of those guys in Houston in becoming the players they are today because of his maturity, knowledge of the game, his attitude and work ethic,” said Davis.
Sources also said that Beltran, rumored last year for managerial vacancies, had numerous conversations with Mets personnel about his interest in the job.
As the search continued, and when Joe Girardi was no longer available after taking on the manager role with the Phillies, Beltran became a prime candidate along with Edurado Perez, the son of Hall of Famer Tony Perez and ESPN baseball analyst who previously managed with the recent Puerto Team in the World Baseball Classic.
“I would like to thank the Mets for the incredible opportunity to have interviewed for the managerial position” Perez said in a statement posted on his Twitter account.
He added, “That being said, I am even prouder that @ Carlos Beltran 15 is going to be the next manager of the @Mets. Estoy #orgulloso de nuestra bandera.
Time will tell if this was the right move for the Mets and they feel certain with Beltran they are going in the right direction.
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