Beltran, who played for the Astros during the 2017 season, was the only player on the World Series-winning team to be implicated in MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred’s findings. He was said to have played a key role in orchestrating the elaborate system that helped the Astros steal signs from opposing teams.
Beltran told the Mets it was best that he stepped down from his role as manager, according to Yahoo Sports. ESPN reported that he was out. He was hired to replace Mickey Callaway in the offseason. He did not manage a game for New York.
The former MLB outfielder’s departure comes days after MLB suspended A.J. Hinch and Jeff Luhnow for one year for failing to do more to stop the sign-stealing. The Astros then made the decision to fire Hinch and Luhnow and started their process of replacing them with less than a month before pitchers and catchers report.
Alex Cora, then the bench coach for the Astros, stepped down as Boston Red Sox manager a day after the findings. MLB didn’t announce a punishment for him because they were still investigating his 2018 Red Sox team for a separate video-replay scandal.
According to a report from The Athletic in November, Beltran and Cora played a “key role in devising the sign-stealing system” during their 2017 World Series-winning season. Manfred determined that Beltran and a group of unnamed players devised a plan to “improve on decoding opposing teams’ signs and communicating the signs to the batter.”
Manfred said it was Cora who arranged for a camera to be placed in center field while one player would bang on a trash can to communicate the pitch type to the batter.
However, Manfred determined in his ruling that no Astros players on the 2017 team would be suspended because “assessing discipline of players for this type of conduct is both difficult and impractical. It is difficult because virtually all of the Astros’ players had some involvement or knowledge of the scheme, and I am not in a position based on the investigative record to determine with any degree of certainty every player who should be held accountable, or their relative degree of culpability.”
Beltran told the New York Post in November that he was unaware of the camera in center field.
“I’m not aware of that camera,” Beltran said. “We were studying the opposite team every day. We took a lot of pride studying pitchers [on] the computer. That is the only technology that I use and understand. … It was fun seeing guys get to the ballpark to look for little details."
He added: “[In] the game of baseball, guys for years have given location and if the catchers get lazy and the pitcher doesn’t cover the signs from second base, of course players are going to take advantage. I don’t call that cheating. I call that using the small details to take advantage. I think baseball is doing a great job adding new technology to make sure the game is even for both teams.”