A homegrown Kansas City Royals player is the right man to take over the reins as manager of the team for 2020 to continue the growth of its young stars.
As soon as Ned Yost announced his retirement from the Kansas City Royals and the MLB, the rumor mill was alive with potential candidates to replace him. One of the immediate names that popped up was former St. Louis Cardinals manager and current Royals special adviser for player development, Mike Matheny. That selection has drawn lukewarm to downright negative reactions from many Kansas City faithful.
Another candidate from inside the organization is Pedro Grifol, who has been with the club since 2013 serving as a hitting coach and catching instructor. One area that Grifol would like to see the Royals improve on is the sorely-needed use of analytics. Being bilingual would be a plus in relating to and communicating with Spanish-speaking players as well.
One interesting candidate to emerge is former Kansas City Royals outfielder Carlos Beltran. After retiring in 2017, he was in the mix for the Yankees’ skipper role that ended up going to Aaron Boone. Ken Rosenthal tweeted about the possibility earlier today mentioning Beltran as a candidate for KC and the New York Mets position that become available when Mickey Callaway was let go.
From a public relations standpoint, this move would energize the Royals’ fan base. Beltran began with the club in 1995 as an 18-year-old and quickly rose through the minors joining the big league squad in 1998.
He had a great stretch from 2001 to 2003, hitting at least 24 home runs, driving in a minimum of 100 runs and stealing no less than 31 bases each of those seasons. He was eventually traded in 2004 to the Houston Astros when it was obvious Kansas City could not afford to re-sign him. Before he departed that year, Beltran put together a slash of .278/.367/.534 in 69 games.
Although he has not had a formal coaching position, Beltran possesses many skills that he would bring to a leadership position. Like Grifol, he is bilingual and having just left the game he can relate to the players and command their respect with the likely Hall of Fame statistics he produced.
A positive attitude, desire to get his hands dirty learning his post-playing career role with the Yankees and willingness to connect with young players is why Brian Cashman asked Beltran to interview with for the Yankees skipper role as soon as his playing time was over.
In an interesting turn of events, the Mets are rumored to be interested in Matheny due to his connection with the Wilpon family that owns the Mets. If he were to accept that role, that would be one less competitor for the Royals to deal with if they choose to pursue Beltran.
Beltran has already been linked to several other openings besides the Mets and Royals including the Chicago Cubs, San Diego Padres (he already turned down an interview with them) and the San Francisco Giants.
The Royals must get this hire correct and Carlos Beltran would be excellent for the younger players to continue the development that Yost started. The fact that multiple other teams are interested in Beltran speaks to his character and their belief that he will be successful. Let’s hope Kansas City takes the initiative to interview him.