Report: Carlos Beltran's Role In Astros Sign-Stealing Scheme Revealed

Players Felt 'Powerless' Against Former Mets Manager

Alec Gearty
February 11, 2020 - 4:34 pm
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Former Mets manager Carlos Beltran's role in the Astros' sign-stealing scandal has been revealed. 

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Beltran, a member of the Astros 2017 roster, helped create the system which allowed the Astros to decode signs from a camera based in center field, according to The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal and Marc Carig.

Beltran also had seniority in the Astros dugout. The report suggested that many Astros players as well as manager AJ Hinch felt "powerless" in attempts stop Beltran and then-bench coach Alex Cora from using the method throughout its usage. An algorithm to decode the signs was developed by members of Houston's front office, Tom Koch-Weser and Derek Vigoa. The program earned the nickname "Codebreaker."

"What happened was Cora and Beltrán decided that this video room stuff Koch-Weser was doing (with Codebreaker) was just not working, inefficient, too slow,” an unnamed person with direct knowledge of the investigation told The Athletic. “They just had some lower-level guy put up this monitor and did it themselves.”

Carlos Beltran
Troy Taormina/USA TODAY Images

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred listed Beltran in the investigative report, which detailed the findings of the Astros' illegal use of technology to steal signs from opposing teams. The 42-year-old was the only player specifically named alongside Cora and Hinch, but Beltran's specific role and the emphasis of his impact were left undetermined. 

In the fallout of MLB's report, Cora and Hinch — as well as Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow — lost their positions with the Red Sox and Astros respectively. The Astros were handed a hefty punishment that includes a $5 million fine and the forfeiture of the first and second-round draft picks in 2020 and 2021. Hinch and Luhnow were also suspended from baseball for one year. 

Beltran, hired by the Mets in November, never had the opportunity to manage a single game for the club. Two months after he was appointed manager, Beltran was ousted and "parted ways" with the Mets. 

"Over my 20 years in the game, I've always taken pride in being a leader and doing things the right way, and in this situation, I failed," Beltran said in a statement upon his firing, via MLB.com's Anthony DiComo. "As a veteran player on the team, I should've recognized the severity of the issue and truly regret the actions that were taken."

Beltran joined the Yankees' front office following his playing career. He served as a special adviser to general manager Brian Cashman, where he reportedly spoke to low-level employees about particular information about the scheme, and how to combat future sign stealing, per the report. 

New York Mets manager Carlos Beltran speaks to the media during the MLB Winter Meetings at Manchester Grand Hyatt
Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

During the London Series in 2019, Cora dubbed Beltran as the Yankees' biggest free-agent acquisition, which initially seemed like a joke about a fellow peer but raised suspicion about Beltran's involvement. 

Beltran, who spent three seasons with the Yankees, before he finished his career with Houston allegedly, said the Astros' sign-stealing method was "behind the times." Despite Cora's comments, MLB confirmed that it will not investigate the Yankees' for any potential wrongdoing, per SNY's Andy Martino

Yankees pitchers Masahiro Tanaka and CC Sabathia highlight those who felt cheated by the Astros' scheme. 

The MLB continues to investigate the Boston Red Sox for stealing signs. A decision from the league has yet to be issued and the investigation will carry on through spring training, according to the Associated Press, via ESPN

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