The Yankees would raise a number of questions if they traded reliever Scott Proctor for Braves infielder Wilson Betemit, a possibility first reported by the New York Post and confirmed Wednesday by FOXSports.com.
The trade of Proctor would make more sense if right-hander Octavio Dotel already had made his expected return from elbow surgery; if the Yankees moved Proctor now, they almost certainly would need to add another late-inning reliever in a separate deal.
The addition of Betemit, whose best positions are third base and shortstop, also would be something of a head-scratcher.
Betemit could fill in at second while Robinson Cano recovers from his hamstring injury, but probably isn't a long-term solution at that position. His future playing time, then, likely would be minimal unless the Yankees traded Cano or — ahem — third baseman Alex Rodriguez.
The return of third baseman Chipper Jones from an oblique strain Wednesday night could make the Braves more willing to trade Betemit, but even then they might be reluctant to part with their emerging talent.
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.