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Why Dodgers and Adrian Beltre aren't happening

December 29, 2010 |  4:55 pm

Adrian Beltre.

Seems kinda tempting, eh?

Originally a Dodger. Still lives in the Los Angeles area. Could plug his bat in the middle of the order. Move Casey Blake from third to left field, where he could operate in a some loose platoon with Jay Gibbons, bringing needed power to left.

Win-win, right?

Oh, there is this: His agent, Scott Boras, is looking for at least a five-year, $85-million deal.

So far, Boras’ demands are causing Beltre’s most interested parties -- the Angels and A’s -- to backpedal.

The Angels pulled their reported five-year, $70-million offer, though they remain interested in signing Beltre. The A’s reportedly pulled out of discussions completely Wednesday; their best offer was reported at five years and $64 million.

Which could leave an opening for some team to come swooping in at the last minute.

Someone like … the Dodgers?

If it seems like a good fit, rumors on Beltre and the Dodgers are absolutely nonexistent. And if it seems like a pleasant little dream, you’d best let it go.

Someone is going to have to overpay to sign Beltre -- blame it on the Nationals and Jayson Werth(another Boras client). It’s just a question of how much they’re going to overpay.

Beltre had an excellent season for the Red Sox last year (.321, 28 homers, 102 runs batted in, 49 doubles) and is certainly a fine player who would help the Dodgers. But he’s also 31 and not an exceptional player, and he’s seeking exceptional money.

He’s a career .275 hitter, and during the first five years he played in Seattle before signing with Boston, he averaged 20.6 home runs and 79.2 RBIs per season.

Now, if money were not an issue, maybe the Dodgers go after him. But money is an issue, and the Dodgers have already pushed their 2011 payroll to nearly $110 million. And if they really wanted to spend $18 million per and invest long term on a player, they would have made a run at Cliff Lee. They didn’t so much as sniff at Lee.

So as attractive as Beltre may seem, it’s not going to happen. The Angels remain the leading candidate to sign him, though the Red Sox and Rangers still have interest.

But Angels owner Arte Moreno has painted himself into something of a corner with his previous comment to The Times' Mike DiGiovanna that he "would spend whatever it took to return to the playoffs"and thus far coming up empty. Moreno, however, clearly has drawn a line with Beltre.

The Dodgers did too, only a long time ago.

-- Steve Dilbeck

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