Veteran reliever Scott Proctor has signed a one-year minor league contract with the Braves, who will invite him to spring training with the hope that he can return to form following ligament-transplant elbow surgery in May 2009.
The contract will pay a prorated portion of a $750,000 salary for any time Proctor spends on the major league roster, and $12,000 per month while he's in the minors. Terms were agreed upon Wednesday, but the deal not finalized until Friday.
“As we found in our experience with Peter Moylan and Tim Hudson in 2009, pitchers typically return to game action in about 12 to 13 months after ligament-replacement surgery," Braves general manager Frank Wren said. "We are looking forward to Scott returning to full health and helping our club in 2010.”
Proctor, who will be 32 in January, was released by the Marlins last month after missing the 2008 season recovering from two elbow surgeries.
Unless he spends almost the entire 2010 season -- all but three weeks -- on the major league roster, he won't be eligible for free agency until after the 2011 season. The Braves are likely to have him under contract for two seasons.
Once rated among baseball's top setup men as a Yankees workhorse, Proctor pitched nearly 190 innings during back-to-back 83-appearance seasons in 2006 and 2007. He led the majors with 102-1/3 relief innings in ‘06, when he had a 3.52 ERA and 89 strikeouts.
He had a 6.05 ERA in 41 appearances for the Dodgers in 2008, and has had two elbow surgeries without pitching in a major league game since.
His contract includes additional incentives for appearances, starting at 10 games and increasing to a maximum of $250,000 for 50.
The Braves haven’t been able to acquire the ace they might have wanted for the top of their rotation, but they secured the depth they needed Monday with the signing of free agent right-hander Gavin Floyd.
One week after the Braves were eliminated by the Dodgers in a four-game division series, Braves general manager Frank Wren met with the team’s beat writers and discussed the 2013 season and the team’s needs going into the offseason.