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.