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Beltre for Mora Rumors
2003-07-21 09:29
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

I'm not passing on this rumor because I believe it will happen, but for the subtext. Ken Rosenthal of The Sporting News reports:

The Dodgers continue to target Melvin Mora, and the Orioles might be willing to take third baseman Adrian Beltre if they also received quality prospects in the deal.

Mora, the American League's second-leading hitter, would be an ideal fit for the Dodgers; he can play second base, shortstop and even third, plus all three outfield positions.

Beltre will receive a significant increase from $3.7 million next season in his final year of arbitration, but he's still only 24 and could benefit from the tutelage of Orioles hitting instructor Terry Crowley. Mora, 31, might never have greater value; he doesn't become a free agent until after the 2005 season.

I think my cheek is actually quivering as I read this. Beltre could benefit from a different hitting instructor? Hmm - where have I heard that one before?

Rosenthal also passes along this story - seems apocryphal but I'll take it at face value.

Baseball men often will say of a washed-up player, "You couldn't trade him for a bag of balls." Technically, the Dodgers didn't trade for Rickey Henderson. But they did give up a bag of balls.

The Newark Bears, an independent minor league team, were contractually obligated to release Henderson, 44, if a major league club wanted him. But when Henderson departed, the Bears made a special request of the Dodgers, asking for a shipment of balls.

The Dodgers happily obliged with six dozen, establishing a new going rate for a future Hall of Famer: Approximately $130,000 -- the pro-rated portion of the minimum salary that the Dodgers will pay Henderson -- plus six dozen balls.

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