The Mets have settled on their next manager after a near-month-long search. Former major-leaguer Carlos Beltran has been named the team's new manager, the Mets announced Friday night. He is the 22nd manager in Mets franchise history.
"Thanks to Jeff (Wilpon) and the ownership group for their ongoing support as we worked through a very detailed managerial search process," said GM Brodie Van Wagenen in a statement. "We are very excited to bring Carlos on board as our next manager and re-introduce him to Mets fans next week."
"Congratulations to Carlos. We are thrilled, as we know our passionate fans will be, to have him back in the family," Wilpon added. "Thanks to Brodie and the entire baseball operations staff on this expansive, diverse and collaborative managerial search process."
Earlier on Friday, it was reported that Beltran and former big leaguer Eduardo Perez were two finalists for the job.
Beltran, 42, was one of the best players of his era, and he spent seven of his 20 seasons with the Mets. Beltran has never managed before. He did, however, interview for the Yankees' managerial opening prior to the hiring of Aaron Boone. Beltran since late 2018 has worked as a special advisor to Yankees GM Brian Cashman.
Hiring managers without any prior experience has become something of a trend in recent years, going back to at least Mike Matheny's hiring as Cardinals manager prior to the 2012 season. In that sense, tabbing Beltran is nothing radical on the part of the Mets.
During the course of his playing career, Beltran tallied more than 2,700 hits; more than 400 home runs; and more than 300 stolen bases. His careerof 69.6 plus his outstanding postseason body of work make Beltran a likely future Hall of Famer. Relevant to his new position, he was also regarded as a beloved and stabilizing clubhouse presence throughout his career.
The Mets moved on from previous manager Mickey Callaway after two seasons in which the former Indians pitching coach guided them to a 163-161 record and no playoff appearances. In 2018, the Mets under Callaway went 77-85 and finished in fourth place in the NL East. This past season, they finished with 86 wins and a third place finish, but that wasn't enough to spare Callaway's job. Beltran will be the first manager hired by Van Wagenen, who took over control of the team prior to this past season.
Barring trades, the Mets in 2020 will return notable names like Jacob deGrom, Pete Alonso, Noah Syndergaard, Marcus Stroman, Michael Conforto, Amed Rosario, Jeff McNeil and Robinson Cano. Less certain, however, is ownership's willingness to invest further in payroll. Beltran will be tasked with dealing with the uncertainties that come from working under the Wilpon family while also improving lines of communication over and above what Callaway was able to achieve. All of that, though, is secondary to getting the Mets back to the postseason for the first time since 2016.