The fallout from the Astros' sign-stealing scandal continues. -- manager A.J. Hinch and GM Jeff Luhnow were later fired as well -- on Tuesday night. Cora was Houston's bench coach in 2017 and was heavily implicated in MLB's investigation. Cora was the only non-player mentioned in . One player was mentioned by name: Carlos Beltran.
Beltran spent the final season of his career with the 2017 Astros and won the World Series ring that eluded him in the first 19 years in the bigs.
Here's what Manfred's report says about Beltran:
Approximately two months into the 2017 season, a group of players, including Carlos Beltrán, discussed that the team could improve on decoding opposing teams' signs and communicating the signs to the batter.
One line, but one very important line. A line that indicates Beltran was a central figure in the sign-stealing scheme. The New York Times reported that Beltran was a "central figure at the outset of the operation." For what it's worth, , and that the team "took a lot of pride studying pitchers [on] the computer."
Beltran was a player with the 2017 Astros and MLB did not discipline any players for their role in the sign-stealing scheme. There are three reasons for that:
- MLB promised leniency to players who cooperated with the investigation.
- Manfred said it would be "difficult and impractical" to assign blame and proper discipline to players.
- Manfred said managers and general managers would be held responsible for sign-stealing in a 2017 memo.
The Mets named Beltran their manager in November and neither the team nor Beltran have spoken publicly since the Astros were disciplined. What we don't know is what Beltran told the Mets about his role in Houston's scandal. Being untruthful or withholding information could force the team to act.
There's also public pressure to consider. The Mets have enough PR issues. Do they really want to go into the season with a rookie manager who was just implicated in baseball's largest cheating scandal in a decade? Is that a cloud the Mets want hanging over the franchise? Even though Beltran was a beloved player, fans may not want the distraction.
For the team's part, Andy Martino of SNY reports that the Mets "have been hard at work trying to figure out what to do in this situation" and that he expects some form of resolution by Thursday evening.
Unless more information comes out further implicating Beltran, the best solution may be holding a press conference, and letting him come clean and apologize for his role in the scandal. He is still afforded the protections given to players during MLB's investigation. Even then though, credibility issues would persist, and Beltran would be under the microscope.
Eventually the Mets and Beltran will have to address the matter and the sooner they do it, the better. Letting these questions go unanswered for weeks will only create more headaches and more credibility issues.