Former Mets Carlos Beltran talked hitting with Francisco Lindor, Brandon...

Former Mets Carlos Beltran talked hitting with Francisco Lindor, Brandon Nimmo, Francisco Alvarez, DJ Stewart and others — and that is exactly what he wants on Friday, Feb. 23, 2024. Credit: Newsday/Alejandra Villa Loarca

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — One of the best Mets ever will be spending lots of time with the team this season.

At the request of president of baseball operations David Stearns, front-office special assistant Carlos Beltran plans to be a presence around the major-league club, Beltran told Newsday on Friday.

That is a noteworthy change from last year, when visits to minor-league affiliates highlighted Beltran’s part-time duties.

“David reached out to me and told me that he wanted me to travel with the team, make some road trips. I’m looking forward to that,” Beltran said. “I just want to be there and hopefully share my experience with them, and hopefully it can influence them in a positive way.

“If someone can make, let’s say, an adjustment that allowed him, that player in particular, to improve, that’s positive. And that’s what motivates me. I’m motivated by that . . . I love to be around.”

Beltran, a former All-Star centerfielder and — technically — a former manager for the Mets, is entering the second year of his third stint with the organization. That began with his arrival at spring training Friday for the first of two weeklong stints.

In his first hours on site, he chatted with manager Carlos Mendoza, whom he knows from their Yankees days, and later compared notes with a bunch of hitters during live batting practice. So inconspicuous was Beltran in his orange cap, blue pullover and baseball pants that a few fans — sitting in the second row of seats, about 8 feet away — didn’t recognize him for half an hour.

Beltran talked hitting with Francisco Lindor, Brandon Nimmo, Francisco Alvarez, DJ Stewart and others — and that is exactly what he wants.

“When you’re not there every day, you can’t just show up to camp and tell people what to do,” Beltran said. “There’s gotta be a sense of trust that you build with the players. Even though some of these people I’ve known for a long time, my job description is baseball operations.”

Beltran is, yes, a member of the front office, not the coaching staff. And that is part of the benefit to the Mets. Usually, in modern baseball, when front-office officials spend time around the team, they come with a decidedly analytical bent. Beltran brings an immense playing pedigree.

“Because I’ve been on both sides of the spectrum, I just want to be there for the players,” he said. “It’s important that the players understand that as a baseball operation, what we want is for them to be successful.”

Stearns said: “Carlos has a great baseball mind. I’m excited to have him around our organization and providing perspective to players and coaches.”

Fujinami out

Reliever Shintari Fujinami flew to Japan to tend to a personal matter, a team spokesman said.

Newsday LogoSUBSCRIBEUnlimited Digital AccessOnly 25¢for 5 months
ACT NOWSALE ENDS SOON | CANCEL ANYTIME