“I have been fortunate to play with so many good managers,” said Beltran, who played 98 games with the Mets that season before being traded to San Francisco. “But the one that really sticks out to me is Terry Collins, for the fact that when I was playing with the Mets he was able to handle my situation.”
Beltran, 40, was contacted several days ago by Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman and invited to interview for the managerial post. Though it is rare for a player to transition directly to managing, Beltran’s relative inexperience does not stand out in the current field of six candidates the Yankees have assembled. Only one of those six, Eric Wedge, has previous experience as a manager — with the Cleveland Indians and Seattle Mariners.
The other Yankee candidates, to date, are Los Angeles Dodgers third-base coach Chris Woodward, broadcaster Aaron Boone, Yankees bench coach Rob Thomson and San Francisco hitting coach Hensley Meulens.
During this past season, Beltran told Cashman that he would be retiring at the end of the season and that he would be interested in having a role in the Yankees organization. Those conversations continued after the postseason, during which Beltran won his first World Series title, with the Houston Astros.
In the conference call with reporters, Beltran highlighted his communication skills, and said that, as a manager, he would try to foster a fun environment for the players in the clubhouse. He also said he would hire a bench coach with major league managing experience.
“When I just retired from baseball, I thought I was going to be able to spend time with the family,” said Beltran, who has a wife and two daughters. “But the fact that I got the call to be interviewed — this is something you cannot turn away from. Because this type of opportunity — especially one with the Yankees — they don’t come very often.”