Thursday Trade Periscope

The Yankees are driving an increasingly hard bargain when it comes to their prized reliever, Scott Proctor. The NY Post reports that Proctor is now untouchable and will not be included in any deal, to any team:

Yesterday, the Yankees were informed by the Braves that a deal for infielder Wilson Betemit wouldn't get done unless the Yankees included Proctor. Unwilling to remove Proctor from their bullpen, the Yankees run the risk of watching the switch-hitting Betemit, a player many evaluators say has a bright future and one who could help bolster the Yankees' lineup, land elsewhere.

The good news here is that we seem to be driving a tough bargain while dangling Betemit, asking for multiple relievers or players in return. Ken Rosenthal echoes that thought:

Betemit, 25, could develop into a 25-homer, 40-double man, and the Braves control him through 2010. Trading such a player for a reliever, even one as good as Proctor or the Padres' Scott Linebrink, would be a decidedly risky move. The Braves might want another player added to such a deal.

The NJ Ledger points to the thinking behind the possible trade of Proctor and why it is no longer likely to happen:

The Yankees have talked about a trade that would send Proctor to Atlanta for infielder Wilson Betemit, but it looks less likely by the day.

These discussions started when the Yankees believed Octavio Dotel would be back from his elbow surgery rehab by this weekend. Now that Dotel has had another setback and likely won't be back until September (if at all), the Yankees are reluctant to deal Proctor, who has become one of their best relievers. Developments last night in Texas, where a sore back issue with setup man Kyle Farnsworth forced Proctor into a game in which Joe Torre had said he'd avoid using Proctor "at all costs," may have made it even tougher to consider dealing him.

The reason the Yankees would consider dealing Proctor is that they believe him to be at the peak of his value. He's red-hot since the All-Star break, playing for a low salary and years away from free agency. They also have relievers -- Jesus Colome, Matt Smith, Brian Bruney, etc. -- in the high minors (and T.J. Beam in the majors) who could step in and take his place.

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