Dodger General Manager Paul DePodesta expressed disappointment, but he immediately moved on, closing in on a three-team trade that would send right fielder Shawn Green, starting pitcher Brad Penny and reliever Yhency Brazoban to the Arizona Diamondbacks. Pitcher Randy Johnson, the five-time Cy Young Award winner, would go from Arizona to the New York Yankees, who would send starter Javier Vazquez and two highly regarded minor leaguers to the Dodgers.
Here’s what’s ludicrous:
The Dodgers had worked out the basics for the Green and Penny salary dump before Beltre signed É and their offer still fell 30% short of the Seattle Mariners’ deal.
Here’s what’s absurd:
Beltre, who didn’t want to leave, gave the Dodgers every chance to match the Mariners’ deal and the Dodgers refused to even come close.
Said DePodesta: “We didn’t let Adrian walk. Adrian chose to leave.”
Retorted agent Scott Boras: “Adrian Beltre valued his time as a Dodger, and certainly made sure the Dodgers were completely aware of other offers before making his decision.”
Word is, it’s not DePodesta’s fault. Word is, he’s doing the best he can with whatever loose change McCourt allows him to pluck from underneath the cushions.
It’s amazing how McCourt could sit behind home plate throughout the season and fail to realize his most important job of the winter, the first real test of his regime.
Nothing mattered but signing Beltre.
Jose Lima wouldn’t have mattered. Steve Finley wouldn’t have mattered. Trade half the team and it wouldn’t have mattered.
You keep Beltre, you keep the soul of the Dodgers’ batting order, the cornerstone of their fielding, the rock of their future.
The guy is 25. The Dodgers have invested nine years in his development. Last season he rewarded them with one of the best offensive seasons at his position in baseball history.
He is a model citizen, a Los Angeles resident, a clubhouse force who made the Spanish-speaking players feel included and kept Milton Bradley out of fights.
All this and, last season, he hit 48 homers while playing his home games in Dodger Stadium on one leg.
If McCourt wouldn’t sign this guy, which of his stars will he sign?