Atlanta Braves sign reliever Scott Proctor

Here is the scoop from TCPalm's (regional Florida newspaper) website:

Pitcher Scott Proctor will return to the mound in 2010.

Proctor, the Martin County native, has reached an agreement with the Atlanta Braves on a one-year contract for the 2010 season, according to Proctor's Palm City-based agent Mark Rodgers.

Proctor was released by the Florida Marlins in October after missing the entire 2009 season because of Tommy John surgery on his right elbow.

"The Braves were very aggressive in their pursuit of Scott," Rodgers said Wednesday "They made it clear from the day the Marlins' released Scott that they had a strong interest in signing him to help improve their bullpen. It was obvious to me that the Braves appreciate Scott's track record with the Yankees and Dodgers. I am confident that Atlanta's needs in the bullpen best matched up with Scott's abilities."

The Braves had pursued Proctor way back in 2006 and 2007, so he is a guy they have long coveted. He'll be coming back from Tommy John Surgery, but if can do that successfully, then we have just added a strong and experienced bullpen arm for under a million dollars who doesn't yet have to occupy a space on the 40-man roster. It's a very worthwhile gamble to take on a reliever who could have a huge impact at some point next season.

Good first move of the off-season, Frank Wren. Now we're just waiting on the official word about Tim Hudson.

[UPDATE 1:30pm:]

Per MLBTR, here is an interesting tidbit:

Jeff Euston of Cot's Baseball Contracts informed me that Proctor would "have to spend all but about 21 days on the 25-man to qualify as a free agent after 2010."  He'll probably need all of April in the minors, meaning the Braves could retain Proctor for 2011 as an arbitration-eligible player if he has a successful '10 campaign.

Some confusing verbiage there, but essentially we could keep him in the minors and off the 25-man roster until mid-May and thus retain him for the 2011 season. So we just picked up a year and a half of an experienced work-horse reliever. This deal is looking even better, with potentially more upside, and no need to really rush Proctor back next spring.

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