Carlos Beltran talks Mets return, remains open to managing: 'You can never say no'
Speaking publicly for the first time since being hired as an assistant under Mets GM Billy Eppler, Carlos Beltran said he will be a bridge between the players and front office and also discussed what could be next for him.
Beltran's brief tenure as the Mets' skipper before the 2020 season ended before he managed a single game, following revelations about his involvement in the Houston Astros' sign-stealing scandal when he was still a player.
While Beltran had remained out of a front office/field role since then, the two other managers who were involved in the Astros scandal -- Alex Cora and A.J. Hinch -- had long since returned to the dugout. The other players involved also emerged unscathed.
Francisco Lindor and Edwin Diaz both pushed for the Mets to bring Beltran back, and now he has returned to the team where he was one of the best two-way players in franchise history (and a tremendous resource for his teammates) during his tenure from 2005 to 2011.
"I think this job is gonna allow me to be around prospects and the guys who are already on the big league level," Beltran told reporters on Wednesday at Clover Park. "Being able to play the game for 20 years, there's no doubt that I have gone through a lot of moments in my career.
"I want to basically be able to help more than the big league guys. ... I'm talking about the minor league guys, the guys in the Dominican Republic in the school. Being able to share with them my experiences, and hopefully I can impact and help them continue to develop their career and hopefully be successful at this game."
Beltran said Eppler was the first person from the Mets organization to reach out to him, and that he missed being around the players and on the field, which led to him accepting the job.
Before taking the Mets job, a bunch of teams reached out to Beltran about coaching opportunities. While he wasn't ready to commit to a coaching or strictly on-field job right now, he remains open to managing in the future.
"At this point I'm thinking about what I have to do for the organization," he said, "and what are the things that Billy wants me to do for him and for the team, but you can never say no.
"You can never say no when you love the game and you love being around guys and being able to impact players and make players' careers better. At this point, I'm OK where I am, but later on? I don't know."
The 45-year-old also touched on missing out on the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility.
"It will be amazing if I can get there," he said, "but if I can't get there, I feel proud of my career."
It seems likely that Beltran, who received 46.5 percent percent of the vote and whose exclusion by most voters who didn't check his name on their ballot was punishment for his involvement in the sign-stealing situation, will make it into the Hall in the next few years. If he does, it could be with a Mets cap adorning his plaque.
"This organization is part of who I am," Beltran said toward the end of his conversation with reporters.
Now, he'll have a chance to write a new chapter in Queens.