Carlos Beltran avoided discipline from MLB, but it’s not quite accurate to say the new Mets manager came away unscathed.
Beltran, named as Mickey Callaway’s replacement on Nov. 1, was a well-respected veteran on the 2017 Astros team that won the World Series. According to MLB, he also was involved in the sign-stealing that brought about a league investigation and some of the stiffest penalties ever handed down to a franchise.
On Monday, MLB announced that it had suspended Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow and manager AJ Hinch for one year without pay because of their involvement in the scandal (Astros owner Jim Crane fired the pair later in the day).
The franchise also was fined $5 million and lost its 2020 and 2021 first- and second-round amateur draft picks.
In the nine-page report in which MLB detailed the Astros’ actions, Beltran was the only player mentioned by commissioner Rob Manfred, though he was named only once.
“Approximately two months into the 2017 season, a group of players, including Carlos Beltran, discussed that the team could improve on decoding opposing teams’ signs and communicating the signs to the batter,” the report said.
From that, the report states, the illegal operation unfolded, one that included the use of a centerfield camera and the banging of a trash can as a way of relaying the catcher’s signs to the batter.
During last month’s winter meetings, Beltran was asked several times about MLB’s investigation, which started in mid-November, but declined to answer, as did just about everyone whom the league planned to interview.
“I don’t have any comment for the respect of the process that has been happening,” Beltran said. “So I’m here to talk Mets baseball.”
Which, next month when spring training begins, no doubt will come as a welcome relief.