"I'm grateful to them for giving me the opportunity, but we agreed this decision is in the best interest of the team," Beltran said, per Anthony DiComo of MLB.com. "I couldn't let myself be a distraction."
Beltran later apologized in a statement, via DiComo:
The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal first reported Beltran was stepping down.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post reported how the Mets arrived at letting Beltran go:
Joel Sherman @Joelsherman1
#Mets top officials met last night with Beltran. They were trying to find a way to salvage his term. They were unable to find an acceptable path for all. They met again this morning and came to the same conclusion and agreed to agree that Beltran should not manage the team.
David Lennon of Newsday later reported Beltran asked to remain with the Mets, but the organization opted to move on:
He was hired in November as a first-time coach following a 20-year playing career, including seven seasons with the Mets.
However, questions arose about his involvement in a sign-stealing operation that occurred while he was a player with the 2017 Astros, who won the World Series.
After multiple players admitted in November to using electronic equipment to steal signs from opposing teams, MLB conducted a thorough investigation and then suspended Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow and manager AJ Hinch for the 2020 season. Both were later fired by the organization.
Though no players received discipline from the league, Beltran was the only one specifically mentioned in the report as someone who helped create the plan.
Rosenthal and Evan Drellich of The Athletic reported in November that Beltran, along with Cora, "played a key role in devising the sign-stealing system."
The 42-year-old has denied his involvement in the scheme.
"I'm not aware of that camera," Beltran told Joel Sherman of the New York Post in November. "We were studying the opposite team every day."
He admitted to stealing signs from opposing players during his career but said he never used electronics on the field.
"I don't call that cheating," he said. "I call that using small details to take advantage."
Despite his denials, Beltran and the Mets must have felt his involvement was too much of a problem for him to move forward as their manager.
New York must begin its second managerial search of the offseason and third in three years after an unsuccessful run with Mickey Callaway. Bench coach Hensley Meulens, who spent a decade with the San Francisco Giants staff, could be a candidate for the job, as well as previous finalists Eduardo Perez and Tim Bogar.