- MLB outfielder Carlos Beltran announced his retirement on Monday, and he has already expressed interest in the Yankees’ managerial opening.
- He does not have any experience as a manager, but neither do several of this offseason’s new hires.
- Beltran’s outgoing personality and reputation for connecting with younger players provide a sharp contrast with his would-be predecessor, Joe Girardi.
It has been just one day since the star outfielder Carlos Beltran announced his retirement from baseball, but rumors about his future plans are already flying.
Beltran made the announcement via an emotional Players’ Tribune post, in which he recounted his journey from Puerto Rico to MLB and contemplated his legacy in the game.
“Muchas gracias, béisbol,” the post ended. “I can’t wait for what the next chapter holds.”
Just as Beltran is preparing to start a new chapter in his life, the New York Yankees are about to begin a new era in their organization. Joe Girardi, the team’s manager for the last decade, was fired after losing the ALCS to the Houston Astros, leaving a vacancy in one of the most lucrative coaching jobs in all of sports. Beltran, who played for the Yankees from 2014 to 2016, was asked about the position shortly following his announcement, and he could not deny his interest.
“Well, one has to consider everything,” he said to Marly Rivera of ESPN. “That’s a great job; a position with an incredible impact – not only on players that I already had the opportunity to get to know, but to continue doing positive things. At the end of the day, yes. It’s not every day that there are vacancies available for managing in the major leagues. Just think of this – Joe Girardi was there for 10 years. If I get an opportunity [to interview], I will not rule it out.”
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman has been coy about his team’s managerial search, stating that he plans to interview a wide variety of candidates over an indeterminate period. When asked, the veteran executive acknowledged Beltran’s interest but did not go into detail, according to ESPN’s Andrew Marchand.
“I am aware of his interest in managing in the future,” Cashman said. “I’ll leave it at that for right now.”
While Beltran has no experience as a manager, that might not be a big factor in the Yankees’ decision – several new hires from earlier this fall, including Alex Cora of the Red Sox, Dave Martinez of the Nationals, and Mickey Callaway of the Mets, are in the same boat.
What’s more, Beltran is a perfect match with the personality profile the Yankees seem to be looking for. In a conference call with media members, Cashman stated that the primary reason for Girardi’s dismissal was “about the connectivity and the communication level of the players in the clubhouse.” Girardi is regarded as an old-school manager, more concerned with the nuts and bolts of the job than his interpersonal relationships among the team.
With Beltran, the Yankees would be getting the opposite. In his retirement post, the 40-year-old wrote at length about the importance of mentoring younger players, as well as the value of clubhouse chemistry.
“And as I got older, and I became the player that the younger guys came to for advice, I started to understand something … that my purpose in this game is not only to hit home runs or to win championships,” he wrote. “It is to share what I know with the younger players, like so many other players have done for me. It is to give back to the game of baseball.”
“After we lost Game 5 of the ALCS to the Yankees, I sensed that the guys were a little bit tense,” he wrote of his time playing for the Astros. “So I called a team meeting, and I just talked to them in a very casual way. I wanted to loosen them up. And I guess it helped, because we went on to win Game 7 and advance to the World Series.”
Those passages paint Beltran as a charismatic leader with a knack for connecting with the clubhouse, which should make him an enticing option for the Yankees. Even so, the team has already interviewed the bench coach Rob Thomson and the former Indians and Mariners manager Eric Wedge, so Cashman has options. The former third baseman and franchise hero Aaron Boone is also expected to interview in the near future.
Cashman said that all candidates will be available to the media after they interview, a rarity in baseball.