Putz likely to return as D-backs’ closer
LOS ANGELES – Diamondbacks’ closer J. J. Putz has had a great run the last three months, and it is almost certainly will have a chance to build on it next season.
The D-backs have a $6.5 million option on Putz for 2013, and while general manager Kevin Towers did not come out and say Putz will return, he said that was a fair price for a very productive player.
And Towers values his bullpens.
“We’ll have time to make that decision, but performance-wise he hasn’t done anything that would lead us to believe that he wouldn’t be here,” Towers said.
“Money is always an issue, but I think when you look what other closers are signing for, the Heath Bell’s and stuff, $6 million for an experienced closer is probably not a bad number.”
Putz, 35, converted his 18th consecutive save opportunity Thursday and has made 23 straight scoreless appearances, one short of the franchise record.
“He’s been incredible. Very consistent. The bullpen is a big part of our club, not only this year but going forward. Experience is important. A lot can happen in the last 30 days,” Towers said.
Miami signed closer Heath Bell to a three-year, $27 million contract last winter. Jonathan Papelbon signed a four-year, $50 million deal with Philadelphia last winter. Mariano Rivera is making $15 million this year.
In another news Friday, the D-backs claimed Cody Ransom off waivers from Milwaukee and plan to add him Saturday, when rosters expand. Willie Bloomguist, Takashi Saito and Josh Collmenter also are expected to be added.
Ransom hit a game-deciding home run off Clayton Kershaw last season and brought a productive bat into the D-backs’ third base mix in an early two-week period this season before he was claimed by the Brewers.
Bloomquist’s back health and Ransom’s familiarity are the primary drivers behind the move, Towers said.
Ransom hit .269 with four home runs and 13 RBIs in a month with the D-backs early this season, joining the team in mid-April when Chris Young was placed on the disabled list April 18. He was designated for assignment on May 21, when the D-backs’ search for an answer at third base led them to purchase Josh Bell from Triple-A Reno.