Carlos Beltran and New York Mets agree to part ways after sign-stealing scandal

Carlos Beltran’s managerial career with the New York Mets ended before it began as he stepped down Thursday for his involvement in the Houston Astros sign stealing scandal.

“We met with Carlos last night and again this morning and agreed to mutually part ways,” Mets COO Jeff Wilpon and Mets Executive Vice President and General Manager Brodie Van Wagenen said in a statement Thursday.

“This was not an easy decision. 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.”

Beltran said in a statement: “At a meeting this morning with Jeff and Brodie we mutually agreed to part ways. 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.”

Beltran, 42, was named manager of the Mets on November 1, agreeing to terms on a three-year contract with a club option for a fourth year.

The hiring made Beltran, who played seven seasons with the Mets, the ninth person to both play for and manage the Mets. He had spent 2019 as a special adviser for the New York Yankees.

On Tuesday, a key figure in the sign stealing scandal, Alex Cora, who led the Red Sox to a World Series title in 2018 as manager and was the Astros’ bench coach in 2017, “mutually agreed to part ways” with Boston.

On Monday, Major League Baseball announced it had found that the Astros illegally created a system that decoded and communicated the opposing teams’ pitching signs during their 2017 championship season.

As part of the punishment, commissioner Rob Manfred announced one-year suspensions for manager AJ Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow. Later that day, Houston Astros owner and chairman Jim Crane fired them both.

Beltran, who was an outfielder and designated hitter for Houston in 2017, declined wrongdoing in the Astros’ sign-stealing scheme in a November story in The Athletic.

Beltran was the only Astros player named in Manfred’s report. The mention of his name was brief — on the second of nine pages.

“Approximately two months into the 2017 season, a group of players, including Carlos Beltran, discussed that the team could improve on decoding opposing teams’ signs and communicating the signs to the batter,” the commissioner wrote.