• Wilson Betemit

    Posted by on July 26th, 2006 · Comments (16)

    From the Post today:

    The Post has learned the Yankees and Braves have held discussions about the Yankees acquiring switch-hitting infielder Wilson Betemit and may be willing to give up reliever Scott Proctor.

    The Yankees view Betemit as the ultimate utility man who can play second base in Robinson Cano’s absence. Cano, who has missed a month due to a hamstring problem, is at least two weeks away and could be out longer.

    Getting Betemit would allow the Yankees to entertain trade offers for Cano during the offseason, when they will be in the market for pitching.

    First off, I’m always leery of Dominican middle infielders with “Wilson” in their name. That didn’t work out too well, the last time, in New York.

    Moving past that, Wilson Betemit is not a poor hitter – but, he’s not a great one either. He’s average.

    You could do a lot worse for a back-up infielder on your roster.

    Would I want him to play 2B and then trade Cano? I would only do that if Cano brings you a young Grade-A starting pitcher. Otherwise, it doesn’t make sense to move Cano for Betemit.

    Would I give up Proctor for Betemit? No.

    I don’t feel that comfortable turning “ProcFarnMo” ™ into “BeamFarnMo” (or something like that.)

    Now, even if you told me that Octavio Godot was ready – and that he could pitch lights-out for the next three months – I would still not move Proctor to pick up a spare middle infielder.

    Matt Smith? T.J. Beam? Sure – in a minute. But, not Proctor. Not now.

    The Yankees need major-league-proven good arms at this moment – they don’t need to be trading them away.

    Comments on Wilson Betemit

    1. jonm
      July 26th, 2006 | 2:59 pm

      For me this is a very tough call. Proctor is an older middle reliever with not that much of a track record who should be replaceable. Betemit is a more valuable player and they would be trading Proctor at the height of his value. These are the pro-deal arguments. (Like Steve, I would definitely do it for Beam or Smith.)

      The anti-deal argument is that trading a currently effective Proctor is a major risk right now and it would not seem prudent to trade him for a utility player if that’s what Betemit would be. I guess my thoughts on the trade would be based on
      (a.) whether they would trade Cano (another very risky move)
      and
      (b.) what they could get back for him. (I would think that he could get back a top-flight starter.) If that top-flight starter were Dontrelle Willis somehow, then I may take on all of the risk.

      Cashman would have to have great self-confidence to go through with all of these moves. I doubt that they will happen.

    2. RICH
      July 26th, 2006 | 3:24 pm

      I treat anything George King writes with doubt.

      *If* this trade was made I guess it’d be because Cano’s hurt more than anyone’s mentioned so far. He’s already been out a month.

      Then Villone and Beam would be the 7th inning guys.

      I was thinking last week how much I’d like Betemit as a utility guy beyond this year but I think the Braves would want more than Proctor

    3. July 26th, 2006 | 3:50 pm

      FWIW, after having just read “Built To Win,” I would say, if the Braves want one of your pitchers, that means he has something – and you’re better off keeping him.

    4. Rich
      July 26th, 2006 | 4:12 pm

      Agreed on the Braves pitching comment. If Proctor is rested properly, he’s really been effective this year. If he pitches tonight, I honestly think the best thing to do for him is trade him. I think he has a chance to be a pretty good set-up guy, but if Mr. Torre isn’t going to do the right thing, then trade him before his career is ruined.

      That being said, I’m pretty sure Betemit is better than a “league average” hitter. He’d be a significant upgrade to the bench, and appears to be able to play SS, 3B and 2B. I like Proctor, but I don’t see him as irreplaceable. I’m just thinking about the future I guess. Proctor is the new Quantrill. His stats are fine so far, but by the time October arrives (if we even get there), he’ll have nothing left. It’s a shame.

    5. Nick from Washington Heights
      July 26th, 2006 | 4:15 pm

      I don’t anything about Betemit. What kind of player is he? Who are is comps?

    6. Nick from Washington Heights
      July 26th, 2006 | 4:15 pm

      I don’t anything about Betemit. What kind of player is he? Who are is comps?

    7. Nick from Washington Heights
      July 26th, 2006 | 4:16 pm

      oops! I meant to include the word “know”. Sorry about the double post.

    8. July 26th, 2006 | 4:20 pm

      I hear the Yanks may deal Proctor for Betemit, then turn around and include Betemit in a package for Scott Linebrink, which I’d be all for. Linebrink wouldn’t just be an upgrade over Proctor, he’d be an upgrade over any reliever we have not from Panama.

    9. July 26th, 2006 | 4:25 pm

      You know the minute Linebrink hits NY he turns into a pumpkin. It always happens.

    10. July 26th, 2006 | 4:28 pm

      Rich/Nick – WB’s lifetime, including this year to date, OWP is just about .500.

      That means he’s average.

    11. baileywalk
      July 26th, 2006 | 4:44 pm

      Mike A., where did you hear that? Who else would be going with Betemit?

      The only reason I question that is why would the Braves want Proctor more than Linebrink, who’s having a really good year? I’m assuming that the Braves could match anything we’re adding to Betemit.

    12. Nick from Washington Heights
      July 26th, 2006 | 4:47 pm

      I think Steve’s right. Stud relievers, with the exception of Flash, just wilt under the pressure.

    13. July 26th, 2006 | 5:05 pm

      How about “It’s all posturing to drive down the cost of Abreu?” The quote is mine.

    14. Mike A.
      July 26th, 2006 | 5:07 pm

      Buster Olney mentioned the Linebrink swap in a chat, but I also read it online somewhere earlier this morning, can’t remember where though.

    15. July 26th, 2006 | 6:47 pm

      Betemit is a useful hitter and versatile defensive player who is still on his way up. Proctor is a reliever in the middle of a fluky season who is probably being overworked. I vote the Yanks pull the trigger on this one.

    16. 98Yanks
      July 27th, 2006 | 10:00 pm

      i would be disappointed with this deal. betemit’s career obp is only .340. cairo has filled in admirably for cano. no, he doesnt hit a lot, but he does seem to hit in the clutch, he can lay down a bunt, he can run, and he’s solid defensively.

      cano’s supposed to be back within 2 weeks. he’s only 23, hittting .325! i NEVER want cano to be traded to make room for betemit. within a month of watching cano play last year, i predicted he’d win a batting title in his career, and i still stand by it.

      proctor has been overused, and despite that, he’s been solid. i think one thing i’ve learned is that your bullpen can never be too deep.

      think about this too: cano, matsui & sheff are coming back in the next 2 months. that’s like acquiring 3 all-stars without giving up anything!

      beam or matt smith for betemit? maybe. but not proctor.

      and at the very least, betemit cannot replace cano (in the offseason).

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