PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Carlos Beltran is back with the New York Mets -- the same team that fired him just three years ago in the wake of his involvement in the Houston Astros' cheating scandal.
Beltran, set to begin his new role as a special assistant to Mets general manager Billy Eppler, was asked Wednesday if he ever thought he would work for the franchise again.
"No chance," Beltran responded. "That's how the world goes around."
Beltran, a nine-time All-Star who spent parts of seven seasons as a standout center fielder for the Mets, spent last season as an analyst for the YES Network but said he missed being around players and the competition. The three-time Gold Glove winner said he was offered several coaching jobs in other organizations but chose the front-office route instead.
"When this opportunity came, it was a no-brainer for me to say yes," Beltran said. "This organization is part of who I am as a ballplayer."
Beltran was hired by the Mets as their manager in Nov. 2019 but was fired less than three months later after being the only player named in Major League Baseball's investigation of the Astros' sign-stealing scandal from 2017. He never managed a game for the Mets.
"I went home and reflected on what happened and how it happened," Beltran said. "We grow from moments that are tough. In life, a lot of times when you're going through a big storm, you think that storm will never pass.
"But it will pass. Time heals."
Beltran, 45, did not rule out the possibility that he might want to manage some day. He said working in television last season helped him stay relevant, leading to the offseason phone call from Eppler that eventually materialized into a job opportunity.
"The job is going to allow me to be around prospects and the guys on the big-league level," Beltran said. "My job is to help anywhere that I can."
Beltran was a Rookie of the Year, three-time Gold Glove winner and two-time Silver Slugger over a 20-year playing career during which he batted .279 with 435 home runs, 1,587 RBIs and 312 stolen bases. He fell well short of making the Hall of Fame last month in his first year of eligibility.
Some voters undoubtedly held back a vote because of Beltran's involvement in the Astros' sign-stealing scandal, as he was on just 46.5% of the ballots. A player needs to be on 75% to gain entry into the Hall of Fame.
Beltran indicated he is well aware of some of the backlash that still exists a half-decade later.
"I feel OK with it," Beltran said. "I know I went through a moment in my career that was tough. I have some fans, and now I don't have those fans anymore.
"At the end of the day, I have to live with my life and move on. [The Hall of Fame] would be amazing if I can get there, but if I cannot get there, I feel proud of my career."