The New York Mets and manager Carlos Beltran mutually agreed to part ways Thursday morning, according to a statement released Thursday afternoon by Mets COO Jeff Wilpon and Executive Vice President and General Manager Brodie Van Wagenen.
Major League Baseball revealed on Monday that Beltran was a key figure in the Houston Astros’ sign-stealing scandal when he suited up as a player for Houston in 2017. Astros manager A.J. Hinch and Red Sox manager Alex Cora — Hinch’s bench coach in 2017 — were each fired after being implicated in the scandal. No players were punished as a result of the scandal, and Beltran was the only player implicated.
“At a meeting this morning with Jeff and Brodie we mutually agreed to part ways,” Beltran said in a statement on Thursday. “I’m grateful to them for giving me the opportunity, but we agreed this decision is in the best interest of the team. I couldn’t let myself be a distraction for the team. I wish the entire organization success in the future.”
Wilpon and Wagenen said the decision to part ways with Beltran was “not an easy” one.
“Considering the circumstances, it became clear to all parties that it was not in anyone’s best interest for Carlos to move forward as manager of the New York Mets,” Wilpon and Wagenen said Thursday. “We believe that Carlos was honest and forthcoming with us. 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.”
Major League Baseball suspended Hinch and Houston General Manager Jeff Luhnow each for one year on Monday and Astros owner Jim Crain wasted no time in cutting ties with the leaders of the Astros’ 2017 championship team for their roles in the scandal, firing the duo later in the day.
The Red Sox decided to move on from Cora before the league could dish out punishment, as MLB’s investigating of the Boston Red Sox squad for illegally stealing signs during their 2018 championship season is still ongoing.
Back in November, Beltran denied cheating while with the Astros, according to the New York Post.
“I’m not concerned. There’s nothing illegal about studying your opposite team. We all have the same opportunity to look out for information and tendencies,” he said.
The Mets had reportedly been debating Beltran’s future with the franchise since MLB’s announcement on Monday, according to the New York Post. Now, the organization will have to conduct a managerial search — for the second time this off-season — with pitchers and catchers set to report for spring training on Feb. 11.
Beltran had been hired to replace Mickey Callaway, who was fired after the 2019 season.