NEW YORK (AP) – The New York Yankees reached a preliminary agreement Tuesday to trade workhorse reliever Scott Proctor to the Los Angeles Dodgers for infielder Wilson Betemit in a deal that could add some punch to their limited bench.
The long-discussed deal is subject to the teams approving medical records, an official on one of the clubs said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the trade had not been finalized.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.