D-backs exercise 2013 option on closer Putz

Diamondbacks general manager Kevin Towers does not watch closer J.J.
Putz pitch in person, preferring the television in clubhouse manager
Roger Riley’s office. It is a superstition Towers began while with
closer Trevor Hoffman in San Diego. Whatever the vantage point, Towers
knows what he has in Putz.

The D-backs picked up Putz’s option
for 2013 — worth $6.5 million — on Saturday, Towers calling the move “a
no-brainer,” and are looking to keep Putz for several more years after
that.

Towers compared Putz to Hoffman, a Hall of Famer in waiting,
both for his success on the mound and in his influence on the young
relievers in his bullpen.

“I don’t look at this short-term. I
believe in continuity, and it’s hard to find those guys that are
consistent at the back end. This was the first step. Now we have time to
talk beyond 2013. I hope he finishes his career in a Diamondbacks’
uniform,” Towers said.

Towers said talks on a contract extension have not begun, and Putz said he did not want to focus beyond next season.

“There
may be a time when we address that, but right now, I’m not worried about
it,” Putz said. “We’re trying to build a championship club here. I love playing
here.  I love the coaching staff. I love the guys. That being said, I’m
worried about 2013.

“I’m ecstatic. There is a lot of unfinished business to be taken care of here.”

Putz,
35, has 77 saves in his two seasons with the D-backs, the most
successful two-year period in his 10-year major league career.

Putz
was 2-2 with a 2.17 ERA and a career-high 45 saves in 2011, and was 1-5
with a 2.82 ERA and 32 saves this season. From May 15, Putz was 1-1
with 26 saves and a 1.42 ERA.

“He’s the leader of our bullpen
and one of the best closers in the National League. He plays a big part
in setting the makeup and character of our team,” Towers said.