Diamondbacks exercise J.J. Putz’s option for 2013

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As expected, the Diamondbacks announced today that they have exercised the $6.5 million club option on J.J. Putz’s contract for next season.

This was a pretty easy call for the Diamondbacks, as Putz has proved to be an excellent bargain for the club so far. Putz, who turns 36 in February, has earned $8.5 million over the past two seasons while posting a 2.48 ERA and 126/23 K/BB ratio over 112 1/3 innings. He is 77-for-86 in save opportunities during that timespan.

Putz’s career was at a crossroads after an elbow injury limited him to 29 appearances with the Mets in 2009, but he has made 57 or more appearances in each of the last three seasons.

While Putz will be in the fold for 2013, Diamondbacks general manager Kevin Towers is open to the idea of keeping him long-term. According to Jack Magruder of FOX Sports Arizona, Towers said today that he hopes to talk to Putz soon about a possible contract extension which would allow him to finish his career with Arizona.

Chris Sale will start on Opening Day for Red Sox

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No surprise here: Chris Sale will start on Opening Day for the Red Sox, Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe reports. The Red Sox open the season on March 29 in Tampa Bay against the Rays. Sale will oppose Chris Archer.

Sale, 28, is the fifth different Opening Day starter the Red Sox have had in as many years, preceded by Rick Porcello, David Price, Clay Buchholz, and Jon Lester. Sale started on Opening Day for the White Sox in 2013, ’14, and ’16.

Sale finished second in AL Cy Young Award balloting last year and finished ninth for AL MVP. He went 17-8 with a 2.90 ERA and a 308/43 K/BB ratio in 214 1/3 innings. Sale and Clayton Kershaw (2015) are the only pitchers to strike out 300 or more batters in a season dating back to 2003.