In the wake of Monday’s report, Astros manager A.J. Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow were suspended for one year each for failing to put a stop to the scheme, and they were subsequently fired by team owner Jim Crane. On Tuesday, the Boston Red Sox parted ways with Cora, whom they had hired away from the Astros to be their manager in November 2017. The Red Sox are also under investigation by Major League Baseball for a similar scheme, and Cora is expected to receive a substantial suspension for his roles in both.
The Mets had hired Beltrán as their manager in November, 11 days before the Athletic published a story, quoting former Astros pitcher Mike Fiers and other unnamed players, that exposed the 2017 Astros’ scheme. The team had remained silent all week about Beltrán’s status, even as first the Astros, then the Red Sox, dismissed their leadership for their roles in the scheme.
In Commissioner Rob Manfred’s report, Beltrán was named as someone who “discussed that the [Astros] could improve on decoding opposing teams’ signs and communicating the signs to the players.” While Hinch and Luhnow were suspended and the Astros were fined $5 million and stripped of four top draft picks, Manfred chose not to punish individual players for their roles.
But Red Sox executives’ quick dismissal of Cora — an action they tied exclusively to the Astros matter and not to any potential findings in the subsequent investigation of the 2018 Red Sox — increased the pressure on the Mets to similarly sever ties with Beltrán.
Like the Red Sox with Cora, the Mets characterized the dismissal of Beltrán as a mutual parting of ways. “This was not an easy decision,” the team said in a statement. “Considering the circumstances, it became clear to all parties that it was not in anyone’s best interests for Carlos to move forward as manager of the New York Mets. We believe that Carlos was honest and forthcoming with us. We are confident this will not be the final chapter in his baseball career.”
Beltrán released his own statement Thursday, saying in part: “As a veteran player on the [2017 Astros] team, I should’ve recognized the severity of the issue and [I] truly regret the actions that were taken. I am a man of faith and integrity and what took place did not demonstrate those characteristics. … I’m very sorry. It’s not who I am as a father, a husband, a teammate and as an educator.”
The Mets now join the Astros and Red Sox in the awkward and rare position of conducting a managerial search less than a month before pitchers and catchers report for spring training. Bench coach Hensley Meulens, a perennial managerial candidate, is expected to receive consideration for the Mets’ job, as is ESPN analyst Eduardo Pérez, a finalist for the job in November when it went to Beltrán.