In the first official move of the winter, per Mike Graham of Treasure Coast Newspapers via Talking Chop, Frank Wren & Co. have signed former Yankees and Dodgers reliever Scott Proctor to a split contract for 2010. Joe Torre worked Proctor to death in not one but two different organizations, as he appeared in a ridiculous 166 games in 2006-2007. He struggled mightily in 2008 before revealing that he'd been pitching through arm pain, and had surgery last winter to repair a partially torn flexor tendon and remove a bone spur. He then signed with the Marlins, but after continued setbacks in his recovery, he went under the knife again in May for Tommy John surgery. The Marlins released him last month, and he's hoping to take the mound again starting in February to begin rehabbing.
Proctor's agent said the Braves were aggressive in their pursuit of Proctor, and while he wouldn't reveal the financial terms of the deal, he did say that Proctor's major-league salary would be similar to his 2009 contract with Florida ($750K base salary plus $250K in potential incentives). The nature of the split contract, though, means the Braves won't have to add Proctor to their 40-man roster, so he can get his rehab well underway at Gwinnett. The other added potential benefit is that, according to Jeff Euston at Cot's Contracts, Proctor would "have to spend all but about 21 days on the 25-man to qualify as a free agent after 2010." So if he spends the first month to six weeks in the minors, the Braves would have the right to retain him for 2011 if they wanted to.
I'm glad to see Wren beginning to accumulate bullpen pieces, because as much as we might need back-end stoppers, we also will need some depth in middle relief. That said, I'm not a big Proctor fan: he's got horrific flyball tendencies, and his control has really never been the same since he tossed over 100 relief innings in 2006. I'd like to see Wren bring in a bunch of different guys and hope to catch some lightning in a bottle, and this signing costs effectively nothing, but I don't really expect much if any positive contribution from Proctor in 2010.