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Yankees might make Proctor a starter
BY KEN DAVIDOFF
Newsday Staff Correspondent
November 17, 2006
NAPLES, Fla. -- With their starting rotation their greatest uncertainty, the Yankees likely will tell Scott Proctor - a pleasant surprise as a reliever in 2006 - to plan for next season as though he will be a starter.
"We'll probably have him proceed and prepare as a starter, because you can always go the other way, slide him down and reduce his workload. But it's hard to go the other way," Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said yesterday as the general managers' meetings concluded. "But that's for another day."
Cashman soon will deliver these likely instructions to Proctor, as the righthander has to work out according to the Yankees' directives.
In the interest of avoiding a free-agent purchase they will regret, the Yankees have explored the trade market for a starting pitcher. Florida intends to keep Dontrelle Willis, but the White Sox are open to dealing anyone from their rotation and could ask for some of the young pitching Cashman acquired this month in the trades of Gary Sheffield and Jaret Wright.
Cashman spoke of owning "a lot of trade chips that might be interesting to some people." Although outfielder Melky Cabrera is more likely to stay than go, he would hold significant value in an effort to acquire pitching.
Around the leagues
First baseman Sean Casey re-signed with the Tigers for one year and $4 million.
The White Sox and Cubs pulled off an intra-city trade, with the White Sox sending lefty reliever Neal Cotts to the Cubs for less-proven pitchers David Aardsma and Carlos Vasquez.
Reports out of Houston said the Astros have made offers to Carlos Lee and Alfonso Soriano. Lee, who reportedly also is speaking with the Giants and Orioles, appears more likely to play in Houston. The Astros reportedly are close to signing free-agent starting pitcher Woody Williams.
Soriano also has drawn interest from the Angels, Cubs, Dodgers, Orioles and Phillies.
The Diamondbacks are open to trading outfielder Jeff DaVanon, reliever Luis Vizcaino and catcher Johnny Estrada.
Jamie Walker, a lefthanded reliever who often pitches to just one batter, wound up getting a three-year deal from Baltimore worth $12 million.
Full World Series shares for the Cardinals are a record $362,173. Jeff Weaver, who joined the Cardinals in the middle of the season and won the clinching World Series Game 5, received a virtual full share, a person familiar with the situation said.
Former Yankees lefthander Sterling Hitchcock, 35, was at the meetings and said he hopes to make a comeback.
Bob Geren will be promoted from bench coach to manager of the Athletics, replacing the fired Ken Macha, according to a high-ranking baseball official.
The Red Sox have hired Gary Tuck as their bullpen coach. Tuck, a former Yankees catching instructor, served as Joe Girardi's bench coach in Florida this past season, and his well-known sour disposition contributed to some of the tension between Girardi and the Marlins' front office.
The Associated Press contributed to this notebook.
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