TAMPA — The Yankees had an inside source last year to the Astros’ illegal sign-stealing program.
But Carlos Beltran wasn’t much help.
The former Yankee and a special adviser to general manager Brian Cashman in 2019 offered few details to his boss when Cashman asked about what was going on in Houston.
“Not just Carlos, I’ve asked many people that have played for the Houston Astros that we’ve come across or people that had worked here in the past that have worked there,” Cashman said Friday. “I’m not going to go through the details of those conversations, but they’ve been had and never got confirmation of anything from any of them. That’s a fact.”
Cashman said the Yankees “did things right” even while Beltran was in their front office. The Beltran who Cashman knew as a player and special adviser, he said, is much different than the one painted in stories detailing the Astros’ sign-stealing program.
A recent story from The Athletic quoted an unnamed member of the 2017 Astros team describing Beltran as “the Godfather,” for his role in orchestrating and maintaining the illegal scheme.
“The Carlos Beltran that I know is a good person, a great player, obviously kind of the gentle giant,” Cashman said. “Clearly someone that I can say is a friend, despite the stories that have come out now.
“A lot of the stories, I have a hard time believing in terms of just the person and how he’s being portrayed. I’m not saying he didn’t do anything wrong, clearly the commissioner’s report speaks for itself. But in terms of somebody that was forcing people to do this, that or the other thing, I have a hard time buying that, because that’s not the person I knew as a player and that wasn’t the person I knew as our special adviser.”
Beltran left his role with the Yankees to become the Mets manager in November. But by January, once MLB had completed its investigation into the Astros and found him to be a key figure, Beltran was fired.
Cashman declined to say whether he would hire Beltran again.
“Great player, great person, but obviously wrapped up in something that I think if he had a chance to turn the clock back, there would be different decisions to make,” Cashman said. “I think all those people down in Houston would do it differently now after the fact. Probably when they were going through this stuff, didn’t realize the magnitude of this.”