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
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.
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.”
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.
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.