Could Carlos Beltran be the next Yankees manager?
After 20 seasons as a perennial All-Star, Beltran has his eyes on managing in MLB
"I can't wait for what the next chapter holds," Beltran wrote in the Players' Tribune on Monday announcing his retirement, but it's still unclear exactly what could be on the horizon.
One distinct possibility is a foray into managing at the MLB level, which Beltran admitted he'd love an opportunity to pursue after news of his retirement broke.
Few players have logged as many miles with as many organizations as Beltran over his two decades in baseball, and while he obviously has never managed before, his well-rounded résumé and depth of knowledge will suit him perfectly when the opportunity does arrive.
"At some point in my career, I would love to have the opportunity to manage," Beltran told Mark Feinsand of MLB.com Monday.
"With the experience that I have in the game of baseball, the times I've played, different teams that I've played for, I've gotten to see different ways to do things in the clubhouse and for the players. How to motivate them, how to impact them in a way where they continue to improve. I would love that opportunity, for sure."
One of the many stops Beltran made along his MLB journey was in the Bronx, where he spent three seasons from 2014 to 2016, not long after an even longer stint across town with the Mets, from 2005 to 2011. Though Beltran's Yankees career was marked by injuries, he quickly became one of the team's most respected voices in the clubhouse, and a player who never shied away from the big moments.
"I had the opportunity to play with the Yankees for three years and I enjoyed myself, big-time," Beltran continued. "I appreciated the way I was treated; my family, the relationship with Brian [Cashman] ... You're not just talking about any team in baseball. Not taking anything away from any other organization, but the Yankees are a team that anyone would love to put on that uniform and manage that ballclub."
After parting ways with longtime skipper Joe Girardi at the end of the 2017 season, the Yankees find themselves in a widespread search for the next manager of a team well-positioned for long-term success. Though 2017 was cautiously deemed a "transition year" for the Bronx Bombers, they forced a 101-win team to Game 7 of the American League Championship Series, and emphatically announced that they had arrived.
With all that success, however, comes great expectations for the next manager who dons the pinstripes. One of the most high-pressure positions in all of professional sports, the next Yankees manager will have to bring "a new voice and a fresh voice," in the words of Cashman, who said he's looking for "the right fit regardless of age, someone who's willing to push back and have open discourse."
Cashman recently expressed that he is "aware" of Beltran's managerial aspirations, but that he is "not going to talk about who our potential candidates until we present those candidates to the media conference calls after the interviews go through."
Bringing in Beltran, even just to interview for the opening, would represent exactly the kind of outside-the-box approach that Cashman has said the Yankees want to bring to the hiring process, but there are certainly no guarantees that Beltran would be able to seamlessly make the transition from playing to managing.
"I don't know what they're looking for. Experience as a manager, I don't have that," said Beltran. "But I have the passion for the game, I have the knowledge of being able to play the game for a long time. I get along well with the players, with my teammates; I've always taken that to heart, trying to impact my teammates in a positive way."
Even though a World Series championship had eluded him until the very last game of his esteemed career, no one in baseball would argue against Beltran's ability to connect with players, media members and coaches, while maintaining an easygoing chemistry within the team.
In today's new-age analytical approach to managing big league ballclubs, a level-headed and charismatic leader like Beltran could be exactly what a talented young team needs to reach the next level without letting pressure get in the way.
"I realized early on that my purpose in this game was to share knowledge with younger players and to give back to the game of baseball. I always wanted to do that - that, and be the best teammate I could possibly be," Beltran wrote Monday. "Over 20 years, I feel like I accomplished that."
There's plenty to lure Beltran away from the diamond in the near future, but for a player who has enriched the game of baseball so profusely over the last 20 years, it's hard to imagine he'll be away from the game for very long.