Manager Carlos Beltrán and the New York Mets are parting ways in the wake of the Houston Astros’ sign-stealing scandal, the team announced Thursday.
Beltrán met with Mets chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon and general manager Brodie Van Wagenen on Wednesday night and Thursday morning before announcing the decision.
“We agreed this decision is in the best interest of the team,” Beltrán said in a statement released by the Mets. “I couldn’t let myself be a distraction for the team.”
Beltrán, a former all-star outfielder who retired after winning the 2017 World Series with the Astros, was mentioned in a statement by MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred on Monday as one of the players behind a scheme that used technology to steal signs during that season.
Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch were suspended Monday by the league for the 2020 season, then fired by the team soon after. The Astros were also fined $5 million — the highest fine possible under MLB rules — and will forfeit their first- and second-round picks in the 2020 and 2021 drafts.
In his statement, Manfred indicated that Astros players from that season would not be disciplined individually.
Former Houston bench coach Alex Cora was fired as Boston Red Sox manager on Tuesday, a day after the MLB reported that he worked with Astros players to devise the illegal sign-stealing system. The league is also investigating allegations of sign stealing by Cora’s 2018 World Series champion Red Sox.
Beltrán was hired as Mets manager in November, replacing the fired Mickey Callaway.
“We believe that Carlos was honest and forthcoming with us,” Wilpon and Van Wagenen said in a statement. “We are confident that this will not be the final chapter in his baseball career. We remain excited about the talent on this team and are committed to reaching our goals of winning now and in the future.”