Yankees undermined by two former players in Astros sign-stealing scandal

6 of 7
(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

Carlos Beltran

From 1998 through 2017, Beltran played for the Kansas City Royals, Houston Astros, New York Mets, San Francisco Giants, St. Louis Cardinals, Yankees, and Texas Rangers. He was with the ‘Stros in 2004 and then again in 2017. In December 2013, he signed a three-year, $45 million deal to join the Yanks, even though he was offered more money by another club at the time. He played for the Bombers between 2014 and 2016.

Beltran was a terrific baseball player, and he is (was) a future Hall of Famer. He was chosen AL Rookie of the Year in 1999 while with the Royals. During his career, Beltran was named to nine MLB All-Star teams, won three Gold Glove Awards, and two Silver Slugger Awards.

In addition, he was the fifth player to hit 400 home runs and steal 300 bases, and just the fourth switch-hitter to smash 400 homers. Beltran also was an outstanding base stealer, having the highest success rate of any major league player with 300 or more attempts (88.3%). He retired from baseball following Houston’s victory in the 2017 World Series against the Dodgers.

Following the 2017 season, Beltran interviewed for the managerial job with the Yankees. Although the Bombers chose Aaron Boone, the team was impressed with Beltran and hired him as a special adviser to GM Cashman.

Of course, the Yanks did not know the role Beltran played in the illegal electronic sign-stealing scandal perpetrated by Houston in 2017. However, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred’s report states that:

"Early in the [sic 2017] season, Alex Cora, the Astros’ Bench Coach, began to call the replay review room on the replay phone to obtain the sign information. On at least some occasions, the employees in the replay review room communicated the sign sequence information by text message, which was received on the smartwatch of a staff member on the bench, or in other cases on a cell phone stored nearby. Approximately two months into the 2017 season, a group of players, including Carlos Beltran, discussed that the team could improve on decoding opposing teams’ signs and communicating the signs to the batter. Cora arranged for a video room technician to install a monitor displaying the center field camera feed immediately outside the Astros’ dugout."