Los Angeles still waiting on Beltre

The Dodgers are holding out hope that Adrian Beltre will live up to his enormous potential.

Updated: January 21, 2004, 6:59 AM ET
By Jim Baker | MLB Insider
The Dodgers, pressed for offense, did something interesting: rather than land a bona fide offensive threat this offseason, they instead paid one of their existing players like he is a bona fide offensive threat. Yes, the continuing enigma that is Adrian Beltre is now a continuing enigma who will earn $5 million in 2004. The question is, given the current state of affairs in baseball's salary structure, is a player like Beltre worth that much money?

Because of the existence of the salary arbitration process, the Dodgers had limited choices as to what they could do with the Beltre case:

1. Release him and get nothing in return.
2. Trade him and get little in return. (The Cubs were interested at mid-season last year before getting Aramis Ramirez from the Pirates.)
3. Go to arbitration and run the risk of paying him yet even more money.
4. Do what they did by meeting him half-way.

Jim Baker is an author at Baseball Prospectus and a frequent contributor to Page 2. You can e-mail Jim at