NL East Notes: Proctor, Kimbrel, Mets, Harper

As Carlos Beltran enjoys a three-homer day against Colorado, here's the latest from the NL East…

  • "At least two teams" contacted the Braves about right-hander Scott Proctor, reports David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.  When the Braves re-signed Proctor last month, the team agreed to trade Proctor before May 15 if he so desired, since Atlanta couldn't call the righty up before that date due to releasing him during Spring Training.  Proctor wanted to stay with the Braves, and will be called up to the Major League roster on Sunday.  
  • In another item, O'Brien thinks the Braves should consider making Jonny Venters at least a part-time closer alongside incumbent stopper Craig Kimbrel.  You can keep track of all the end-game news and rumors by following @CloserNews, MLBTR's sister Twitter feed.
  • Talks between Steve Cohen and the Mets "are at a little bit of a stalemate right now," reports CNBC's Kate Kelly (passed along by Matthew Cerrone of  Cohen is willing to pay around $200MM for 49% of the franchise, but "he wants some significant say over how they do what they do," including getting some seats on the team's board of directors.  Despite this setback, Kelly says negotiations "are still happening and the goal is to get this thing done ASAP.”
  • Mets GM Sandy Alderson recently noted that most serious trade negotiations don't begin to develop until June, but's Rob Parker argues that the Mets should be looking to deal Jose Reyes quickly, since the shortstop's trade value is at its highest.
  • Is Bryce Harper the "best prospect ever"?  Fangraphs' Dave Cameron thinks it could be the case, given how Harper is just 18 years old.
  • The Nationals, who aren't selecting first overall for the first time since 2008, intend to take the best players available to them this June. Yet amateur scouting director Kris Kline told Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post that he intends to "really focus on pitching." The Nationals select 6th, 23rd and 34th, so they're expecting to obtain three "really good players."
  • With the Marlins off to such a good start, ESPN's Jim Bowden thinks team management has to be looking into extending Edwin Rodriguez's contract.  The manager is just signed through this season and would seem like a no-brainer extension candidate, were it not for Jeffrey Loria's history of interest in bigger-name managers (such as Ozzie Guillen or Bobby Valentine).

MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith also contributed to this post

25 Responses to NL East Notes: Proctor, Kimbrel, Mets, Harper Leave a Reply

  1. Anyone know how close Harper is? I’m sure they don’t want to start his arbitration clock until he forces the issue.

    • I don’t think they’ll call him up until they’re about 100% certain that he’ll be ready to produce significantly at the major league level. I really really doubt it’ll be this year.

    • start_wearing_purple 4 years ago

      Well he’s destroying pitchers in class A ball, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see him promoted to AA before the season is up. I doubt they’d advance him any faster than that. He might compete for a spot during ST next year, but my bet is you’ll see him some time in the middle of next year.

      • vtadave 4 years ago

        Exactly what I’m thinking as well. Guy got off to a slow start this year and still has video game numbers.  Can you imagine the hype if he debuts during a Strasburg start next year with the Nats having signed Albert Pujols in the offseason? Ok, semi-doubtful there on Pujols, but not impossible…

    • asovermann 4 years ago

      My guess would be 2013 at the earliest, they aren’t even considering A+ ball yet for the kid

      • Alexander_Brovechkin 4 years ago

        I don’t know…They were saying tonight on MASN that a bump up to High-A Potomac could happen within the next couple of weeks.   

  2. Cody 4 years ago

    Kimbrel has nasty stuff but when I watch him he tends to over throw the ball or can’t locate his FB all the time. Once he learns to pitch and not throw he will be one of the best. And I’m saying this as a Red Sox fan so this ain’t being a homer. As for Harper they need to let him play at least one full season in the minors so he can get use to the grind of playing everyday for months, and getting use to pitchers that are way better than anything he’s ever seen. He does have one big head start in that he used a wood bat while most kids his age are using aluminum bats.

    • Kimbrel’s way too amped out there. He’s the definition of effectively-wild. Worst care scenario? He’s Carlos Marmol.

      Having said that, I wouldn’t mind seeing Venters close. That man is built for pressure situations. I don’t think it’s all that out of line to say that he’s already one of the 2 best set-up men in baseball. If a hitter does make contact, he’s pounding the baseballl directly into the dirt. He’s been Rivera-like since the middle of last season.

  3. omavricko 4 years ago

    bring Harper up now, WA needs something to be excited about since Strasburg is out, when is he back anyway?

    • Motor_City_Bombshell 4 years ago

      Although the hype around Harper is huge, if he’s called up now and struggles, then the hype was all for naught. For that reason, they’re not going to be calling him up any time soon.

  4. Bob George 4 years ago

    Doesn’t $200 million for 49% of the Mets sound cheap?

    • Threat_Level_RedSox 4 years ago

      Ya, it basically saying the mets are only worth 408+ mil. Great time to buy low.

      • adropofvenom 4 years ago

        Minority share is inherently less valuable then majority share…….

    • Slopeboy 4 years ago

       As I understand it, he’s also taking on 49% of any debt and liabilities. The Wilpons aren’t giving the house away anytime soon.

  5. There’s no such thing as a “seperate” item…it’s a “separate” item.

  6. vtadave 4 years ago


    Edit – response intended for “Colin”.

  7. I’d love for Venters to close.  I’m as hyped up as any other Braves fan about Kimbrel, but the fact is that he’s the second best reliever we have (Venters being the best).  Let Venters take his spot then have Kimbrel and O’Flaherty set-up.  We’d actually have a decent RH reliever we can use whenever if this was the case.

    • If Venters is the best then keep it like it is now. Instead of him being locked into the 9th inning, we can use him whenever the game is on the line to get out of tough situations.

      • Maybe.  It depends on if you really believe in the idea of a closer or not.  If you do, your best reliever pitches in the 9th.  If you don’t, pitch him whenever you need him most and hope you don’t need him again later.  I’m admittedly not sure which idea I prefer. Protecting leads in the 8th is just as important as it is in the 9th (or almost since you CAN still catch up if it’s the 8th or earlier), but blowing it in the 9th is far more frustrating than blowing the lead in an earlier inning.

        • Yeah, I’ve been on the fence about that for years.

        • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

          you’ve gotta get to the 9th first. for the most part setup guys end up pitching in higher leverage innings than closers if only because of the way most managers baby their closers and a whole bunch of 2 and 3-run leads “saved”

          •  This, totally.

            Additionally, Kimbrel’s lack of control actually works for him in the ninth, when it’s every batter’s last chance to make something happen. The opposing team can afford to sit and take close pitches in the seventh or eighth against a wild reliever…not as much in the ninth.

            Though he’s no paragon of control himself, Venters has done a better job of cutting down on the walks and is more valuable in a flexible role. He can come in and throw to an extra batter or two in the seventh, when needed. If only to me, Kimbrel seems like a one inning guy…


  8. Alexander_Brovechkin 4 years ago

    Can anybody explain to me how Jim Bowden finds work as an analyst?  The only thing he could opine on with certainty is how to be a horrible GM (draft crap players, trade away great prospects for bums, give illogical extensions, etc.).

  9. notsureifsrs 4 years ago

    venters is more valuable as a setup man

  10. Kimbrel’s been groomed as a closer for the vast majority of his professional career. Obviously, the stakes are higher, but this is merely an adjustment period for him. He’ll respond accordingly.

    His pitching coach also happened to be a closer as a rookie. Though the position has changed quite a bit since then, I’m sure he’ll be able to help him through the ups and downs that accompany the job.


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