Is it me or do the Chicago White Sox spend more time on trying to improve their bullpen than any team in baseball? I feel like they are always trading for or signing relief pitchers.
Today, the White Sox added yet another relief pitcher to the mix. MLB.com’s Noah Coslov has reported the White Sox have signed J.J. Putz to a one-year, $3 million contract. The deal also includes $250 thousand in incentives and Putz can earn another $3 million if he finishes a certain amount of games.
Do you think Putz is rooting hard for current closer Bobby Jenks to be traded?
All kidding aside, this is a good low-risk, high-reward signing by GM Ken Williams.
Since Putz had his career year in 2007 where he had 40 saves and a ridiculous 1.38 ERA and 0.69 WHIP in 71.2 innings for the Seattle Mariners, injuries have really derailed Putz’s career.
Putz only appeared in 47 games for the Mariners in 2008 because of injuries and during the following winter he was traded to the New York Mets as part of a three-team trade between the Mariners, Cleveland Indians, and Mets.
The Mets acquired Putz to be the set-up man to the then newly signed Francisco Rodriguez, but things just didn’t work out in Flushing. Putz got off to a dreadful start giving up 17 earned runs in 29.1 innings pitched.
Putz was put on the DL in June with bone spurs and fragments in his elbow. He was sent to Brooklyn on a rehab assignment in August and after complaining about soreness in his forearm, he went for an MRI.
The MRI revealed a slightly torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow and Putz was done for the season.
Williams believes Putz is healthy now and if he is healthy, he definitely gives the White Sox options out of pen. That is one thing I like about Ken Williams–he always gives his managers a lot of options.
The White Sox always seem to have players who can fill a couple of different roles. Perhaps that is why they have been pretty successful over the last five years.
A healthy Putz can replace Octavio Dotel, who is a free agent or he can close if Jenks is ineffective. A healthy Putz could also give Williams the option to trade Jenks down the road to improve another area of the club if need be.
I still think the White Sox could use another lefty in the pen to compliment Matt Thornton (Thornton was the one who recruited Putz to come to Chicago by the way), but this is a good signing by the White Sox.
Something tells me Putz is going to pitch well in Chicago.
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