Yanks trade setup man Proctor for Dodgers' Betemit
Posted: Tuesday July 31, 2007 10:39AM; Updated: Tuesday July 31, 2007 8:03PM
The Dodgers have been working to fortify their pitching staff after injuries in recent weeks to key pitchers such as closer Takashi Saito and starter Randy Wolf, who recently had a setback while rehabbing. Derek Lowe and Brad Penny also suffered what appears to be minor injuries in recent days.
Proctor originally came to the Yankees in 2003 in a deal that sent Robin Ventura to L.A.
Betemit hit .231 with 10 homers and 26 RBIs with Los Angeles, which acquired him from the Atlanta Braves in a deadline deal last season. He played mostly third base with the Dodgers but is unlikely to see much time there with Alex Rodriguez in the midst of an MVP-type season for New York.
Yankees manager Joe Torre has complained about the significant dropoff offensively from his starters to reserves, and Betemit could be the answer. The 25-year-old switch-hitter also can play shortstop and second base and is batting .320 (8-for-25) as a pinch hitter this season. He had pinch-hit homers in consecutive games at Atlanta in May.
"We just think that Wilson provides us a little more flexibility because of his age and the ability to play couple different spots," general manager Brian Cashman said.
The Yankees also were in the running for Rangers reliever Eric Gagne before Texas decided to deal him to Al East-leading Boston. Cashman said the price was just too high for the right-hander.
Proctor developed into one of Torre's favorite relievers last season, going 6-4 with a 3.52 ERA in an AL-high 83 games. It was the second-most appearances by a pitcher in club history.
"Scott has a record of durability and success in one of the major markets in the country," Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti said. "We see him as a solid addition to our bullpen down the stretch."
The excitable right-hander is 2-5 with a 3.81 ERA and four blown saves in 52 games this year. He finished off a rough June by burning some of his equipment on the field at Yankee Stadium after a loss to Oakland, and has a 2.84 ERA in July.
"I'm glad Joe put me in as many games he did," said Proctor, dismissing a question about overuse. "It showed he had confidence in me and I have nothing but respect for him. I want to go out and pitch every night if I can."
He gives Dodgers manager Grady Little another option to get the ball to Takashi Saito, who has converted 26 of 29 save opportunities. Los Angeles was in a virtual tie with Arizona for the NL West lead entering play Tuesday.
"That's exciting going there, but I hate leaving here," Proctor said. "It was a great organization and you hate that it's come to this but Betemit's a good player. Hopefully he can help the team here and on the flip side I hope that I can go there and fill a major role."
The Yankees were eight back of Boston in the AL East and four behind Cleveland in the wild-card race before Tuesday's games. They haven't missed the playoffs since 1994 -- when the postseason was wiped out by a strike.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.