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Mets to hire Carlos Beltrán as their new manager

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Anthony DiComo of MLB.com hears from a source that the New York Mets plan to make Carlos Beltrán their new manager.

Earlier today we heard that the job was either going to to him or to Eduardo Pérez, but apparent Fred Wilpon — the final decision maker — gave the nod to the man who played center field for the Mets between 2005 and 2011.

Beltrán has spent the past two seasons since he retired as a special assistant for the Yankees. He has made no secret of his desire to manage, however, and was interviewed by the Yankees before they hired Aaron Boone following the 2017 season. Beltrán had just retired as a player then, however, so it seemed like both he and the Yankees felt like he needed a little time first. Now he’s had that time and now, it seems, he’s going to lead the Mets into the 2020 season.

The Mets fired Mickey Callaway following a strange but, ultimately, promising 2019 season. The club struggled mightily in the first half but then caught fire in July and August, thrusting themselves into the playoff picture. Though they fell short, the emergence of young talents like sure-thing Rookie of the Year Pete Alonso, Jeff McNeil and Michael Conforto and the continued excellent pitching of Jacob deGrom pushed the Mets to 86 wins on the season. The team would appear to be but a few moves away from true contention with this current core. And, given that Callaway often seemed more than a bit befuddled at the helm in his first big league manager job, a new skipper will obviously help.

Beltrán obviously has no managerial experience, but he has long been spoken of by those inside the game as future managerial material. The future, it seems, is now.

Rays’ Erik Neander named Executive of the Year

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At the GM meetings in Scottsdale, Arizona on Monday, Rays GM Erik Neander was named the recipient of Major League Baseball’s Executive of the Year Award for the 2019 season. The Yankees’ Brian Cashman was the runner-up while the Athletics’ Billy Beane and the Twins’ Derek Falvey tied for third place.

Neander has worked for the Rays since 2017 but has operated in his current role since November 2016, taking over for Matthew Silverman who was promoted to president of the Rays alongside Brian Auld.

The Rays had, by far, the lowest payroll in baseball at $53.5 million, according to USA TODAY. Neander’s peers voting him Executive of the Year on the same today the league had to curtail its awarding of a prize belt to the team that suppressed salaries the most in arbitration is… certainly interesting timing.

At any rate, Neander’s Rays went 96-66 in 2019, finishing in second place in the AL East behind the 103-59 Yankees. The Rays claimed the second AL Wild Card and defeated the A’s to earn entry into the ALDS where they lost in five games to the Astros. It was the Rays’ first playoff appearance since 2013 and their regular season win total was second-most in franchise history behind the 2008 team (97).