1) I love what the Braves did in acquiring Mark Teixeira and two quality relief pitchers for their backup catcher, 5th starter, and some promising prospects. All things being equal, I am convinced that the Braves currently have the best roster in the National League. They easily have the best lineup in the NL, an excellent top three starters, and newly fortified bullpen. If the Braves were within 2 of the Mets right now, I would bet on Atlanta.
2) The Red Sox did a good job adding Gagne to the bullpen. They already had the division locked up, but they probably made themselves the frontrunners to win the World Series. Of course it's baseball, so the Brewers will probably stumble in the playoff back door and win the World Series.
3) Texas has torn their team to bits. At this point, they might as well trade their remaining veteran assets (Michael Young, Otsuka) and commit to another two years of sucking and rebuilding. They are going to be Washington Nationals bad for the foreseeable future.
4) I like the Proctor for Betemit trade...a little bit. Proctor is a serviceable reliever, who has so far held up to two years of Joe Torre's abuse. Somebody should really start a Safe At Home Foundation for victims of Joe Torre's bullpen brutality.
Scott Proctor in the lockerroom, entire upper body wrapped in ice. He hears Joe signature shuffle entering the room and curls into the fetal position.
Joe looks at what he has done to young Scott and begins weeping.
Joe: Don't you see?! I pitch you everyday, because I love you.
If Scott Proctor became completely ineffective over the next year or two, I wouldn't be surprised. More often than not, relief pitchers have a couple of decent years and fall off the face of the planet. I have no reason to suspect Proctor will be an exception. Besides, I have already written ad nauseum that the Yankees have better options toiling in the minor leagues; Chris Britton, Edwar Ramirez, and Joba Chamberlain to name a few.
Betemit is a handy infielder who should mercifully bring Miguel Cairo's Yankees career to an end. He also give the Yanks a contingency plan, if A-Rod signs elsewhere. Of course, Betemit is not in Rodriguez's league. But Betemit would give them a league average third baseman and allow them to spend their money on an outfielder (Torii Hunter, Kosuke Fukudome?) I still desperately want A-Rod to return, but Betemit opens up additional possibilities for the Yankees.