The New York Mets became the seventh team to create a managerial vacancy on Thursday when they fired Mickey Callaway after two seasons, and now they’re getting creative in their search for his replacement.
While most of the connections had previously been speculation, the Mets appear to have sincere interest in bringing in former outfielder and future Hall of Famer Carlos Beltrán as their next manager.
According to a report from SNY’s Andy Martino, the Mets have been doing background work on Beltrán, while the 42-year-old is warming to the possibility of pursuing the job. Beltrán played in Queens from 2005-11 and also has connections with the current front office as special assistant Omar Minaya and assistant GM Allard Baird (then of the Kansas City Royals) both acquired him during his playing days.
What does Carlos Beltrán bring to the table?
Beltrán would be an atypical hire, given that he has no managerial experience at any level. Immediately after retiring in 2017, he interviewed to potentially become the New York Yankees skipper, losing out to Aaron Boone, and later joined their front office as a special advisor.
But to be fair, the Mets have been known to be atypical. Last winter, they hired agent Brodie Van Wagenen to be their general manager despite him lacking any front office experience. They’ve had more than their fair share of ups and downs with the disastrous Robinson Canó-Edwin Díaz trade but also shrewdly naming Pete Alonso their starting first baseman on Opening Day.
The Mets may also have to look outside the box considering their budget. Owner Fred Wilpon is not known to be the most free-spending person in town, and the Mets have already eaten the last year in Callaway’s contract. Hiring a big name like Joe Maddon or Joe Girardi may not be in the cards.
Hiring someone who lacks managerial experience at any level can be a huge roll of the dice. Boone has worked out well for the Yankees, but Brad Ausmus has been fired twice in three years. Beltrán was beloved as a player, played a key role as a veteran leader on the 2017 Houston Astros championship team and is bilingual, but little can replace hands-on experience.
How is the relationship between Beltrán and the Mets?
Initially, Beltrán was dismissed around the league as a serious candidate for the Mets’ position because of how his stint with the team ended earlier this decade.
Wilpon called himself a “schmuck” in 2011 for signing Beltrán, and the outfielder had previously clashed with ownership over his decision to undergo offseason knee surgery, among other things. However, time has apparently healed the wound, as Martino reports that a Mets official said, “That's all in the past.”
There’s nothing quite like a comeback story, and Beltrán revitalizing the Mets nearly a decade after his disappointing departure would be something. The Mets haven’t asked for permission to interview Beltrán yet, in part because the Yankees are still in the playoffs, but this all could move quickly in the next few weeks.
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