Twice the Thunder: Mariners sign Beltre, too

Ladies and Gentlemen, these aren't your father's Seattle Mariners. The news continued to get better in Mariner Land on Thursday, with ESPN first reporting that Seattle has signed coveted third baseman slugger Adrian Beltre to a five-year deal worth a reported $65 million.

If the reports are true, the signing of Beltre marks a new era in Mariners baseball. On Wednesday, the club announced a four-year deal with first baseman Richie Sexson, worth $50 million.

This would mean a dramatic shift in philosophy for Mariners, a ballclub known for its inability to land the big free agents and its reluctance to outbid other teams in the process. It would mean $115 million dollars spent on two players and an investment into the future of the club unmatched any time previously.

It would also mean the addition of the second bona fide slugger to join Seattle in as many days, giving the Mariners one of the most feared lineups in the majors in 2005 and beyond. Beltre, a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers for his first seven years in the league, led all of baseball in home runs last season with 48. Power was hardly his lone asset, however. He had a .334 batting average and 121 RBI to go with it, finishing second in the NL MVP vote getting behind Barry Bonds.

Beltre was thought to be down to a decision between the Mariners and Dodgers in recent days, with the Mariners putting forth an offer in the five-year, $62 million dollar range. While the Dodgers offered more of a sense of comfort – Beltre loves Southern California and talked about his preference to remain there – they never were able to match Seattle's offer.

Not 26-years-old until April 7, Beltre has 147 career home runs, a .274 lifetime batting average and would bring gold-glove caliber defense to the hot corner for the Mariners.

Stay logged on to InsidethePark.com as we provide all the latest news as it happens on the Mariners' spending spree.

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