Carlos Beltrán is back with the New York Mets. It’s a full-circle moment that even he didn’t think was possible after his previous stint.
‘No chance,’ Beltrán told reporters when discussing the mere possibility of his Mets return. ‘That’s how the world goes around.’
Beltrán, 45, was named the Mets manager in 2019. However, he never officially managed a game after being the only player cited in Major League Baseball’s investigation into the Houston Astros’ sign-stealing scandal during the 2017 season.
The Mets fired him after three months on the job. Now, Beltrán will serve as a special assistant to Mets general manager Billy Eppler.
‘The job is going to allow me to be around prospects and the guys on the big-league level,’ Beltrán said. ‘My job is to help anywhere that I can.’
Beltrán will work with a talented roster that includes shortstop and fellow Puerto Rico native Francisco Lindor. Lindor told MLB.com that having Beltrán in the clubhouse is a “huge asset” for the organization.
‘He’s someone that the game needs,’ Lindor said.
Beltrán brings a wealth of experience. He spent six-plus seasons of his 20-year playing career with the organization and made nine total All-Star appearances. He batted .280 and hit 149 homers during his Mets tenure. Beltrán also won three Gold Gloves and two Silver Sluggers with the organization.
The Mets finished 101-61 last season.
‘When this opportunity came, it was a no-brainer for me to say yes, to be back, to be around,’ Beltrán said. ‘This organization is part of who I am.’
Beltrán admitted he needed to reflect on his initial manager stint with the Mets. He is motivated to be a resource in his new role.
Still, he didn’t rule out a possible chance to earn a managerial job in the future.
‘At this point, I’m thinking about what I have to do for the organization, and what are the things that Billy wants me to do for him and for the team?’ Beltrán said. ‘You can never say no when you love the game, and you love being around guys and you can impact players and make players’ careers better. At this point, I’m OK where I am. But later on, I don’t know.’
The Mets open their spring training slate against the Astros on Feb. 25. Their 2023 season begins on March 30 with a road series against the Miami Marlins.