Carlos Beltran was the only player named in the MLB’s report on the Astros’ sign-stealing scandal. However, before allegations came to light, Beltran was brought on as a special advisor to Yankees GM Brian Cashman in 2019.
Here are the facts and how it could potentially affect the Yankees. The Astros have been punished as a team by MLB, but no players were names. Carlos Beltran was hired by the Mets this offseason to be their manager, but they parted ways after his heavy involvement in the Astros’ sign-scandal became clear.
Alex Cora and Beltra are known to have a strong relationship as the two played together with the Mets and then worked together to refine the Astros’ cheating system in 2017.
That brings me to June 30, 2019. That day, the Yankees defeated Cora’s Red Sox in the second game of the London Series by a score of 12-8. Over the course of the two games, the Yanks outscored the Red Sox 29-21.
After the offensive onslaught, Cora began his press conference with some interesting words about the Yankees new special advisor:
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"“I was joking with somebody that their biggest free-agent acquisition is Carlos Beltran. I know how he works. He’s helped them a lot…” Cora winked, continued and then paused, adding that “I’m not saying devices, all that stuff. It’s just stuff that the game will dictate.”"
What did Cora mean? Was he being coy about his own experience in Houston with Beltran? Or was he insinuating that Beltran was actively bringing his “expertise” in cheating to the Yankees?
We’ll never know, but for Yankee fans, this may be cause for concern. Even though Beltran was in the front office and probably did not oversee clubhouse operations in any way that would allow him to lead another cheating effort, his very presence within the organization is enough to raise eyebrows at least.
Even though I believe that Yankee fans should not be pleased with the commissioner’s office’s final verdict on the Astros, the jury is still out on Beltran’s involvement in 2019. However, Cora’s remarks alone are not enough to trigger an investigation into the Yankees.
We can only hope that the Yanks didn’t cheat in 2019. I don’t believe that there is much ground to accuse the Bombers of anything, but there is still reason to be concerned. Certainly, within this context, the Yankees should not feel “vindicated” by the MLB’s verdict on the Astros.