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.
Last month, free agent right-hander Bartolo Colon told reporters that he’d be open to taking a minor league deal in 2018, but only if he was guaranteed a return to the Mets’ system. The 44-year-old starter is nearing the end of a 20-year career, and it makes sense that he’d want to have one last hurrah in the city where he had some of his most productive years.
Now, Twins starter Ervin Santana tells Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press, it looks like the Mets might also be open to a reunion. It’s doubtful that Colon has all that much left in the tank, especially following a combined 7-14 record and 6.48 ERA for the Braves and Twins last year, but he’s not necessarily looking to reproduce the 15+ win, sub-4.00 ERA totals of years past.
Instead, Santana says, Colon is seeking the opportunity to win just six more games. He’ll enter the 2018 season five wins shy of the all-time record for a Latin American-born player, and is hoping to claim that title for himself before he enters retirement in 2019. Former Orioles and Expos hurler Dennis Martinez currently holds the record after clinching his 245th win back in 1998. While it took Colon a full season of starts to come up with even seven wins in 2017, he’s only one year removed from a 15-win campaign in 2016. Provided that the Mets are willing to gamble on him again, the milestone may not be that far out of reach.