Carlos Beltran has accrued a wealth of baseball knowledge over a 20-year playing career that likely will end up one day at the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. So in his eyes, it was only right that he returned to the Mets as a special assistant to general manager Billy Eppler to share what he knows with this generation of ballplayers.
“This job is going to allow me to be around prospects and the guys already on the big-league level,” Beltran said on Wednesday. “Being able to play the game for 20 years, there’s no doubt that I’ve gone through a lot of moments in my career. I want to be able to help.”
The 45-year-old is officially back in baseball for the first time in three years. Just two months after being named Mets manager for the 2020 season, he parted ways with the organization after his name was mentioned as a key perpetrator of the Houston Astros’ sign-stealing scandal in 2017.
“It was hard,” Beltran said of his absence. “I love the game, I love talking baseball, so being away from the game… it’s not the same as being around the guys.”
The nine-time All-Star, who played seven seasons with the Mets from 2005-2011, still found the idea of a reunion with the Queens club too good to pass up despite other offers from other MLB teams.
“When this opportunity came, it was a no-brainer to say yes, to be back, and be around,” Beltran said. “I spent seven years here. This organization is part of who I am as a ballplayer. I went through moments here that made me a better player.”
Granted, those offers from other MLB teams were to be “fully uniformed” and down on the field for the grind of a 162-game season. Beltran isn’t ready for that quite yet. However, the idea of making another run at managing isn’t out of the realm of possibility.
“At this point, I’m thinking about what I have to do for the organization and what Billy wants me to do for him and the team,” Beltran began. “But you can never say no when you love the game… and be able to impact players and make their careers better. At this point, I’m OK where I am but later on, I don’t know.”