Cubs, others interested in J.J. Putz

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One of the reasons a guy like Rafael Soriano accepted arbitration is that there are just loads of relievers floating around this winter.  Maybe not many as good as he is, but certainly some far cheaper and worth a flier.

For example, there’s J.J. Putz, who could be a great bargain/reclamation pickup for someone.  Those someones who might be interested: the Cubs, White Sox, Diamondbacks, Rangers, Nationals and Tigers.

Would I turn over the ninth inning to the guy if I were running a team? Nah. But Putz could be an extremely useful part of a bullpen for any team that doesn’t want to spend a lot on a bullpen. Which is any team except the Braves, it seems. 

Justin Verlander earns 200th career win

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Astros starter Justin Verlander wasn’t his usual dominant self on Sunday against the Athletics, but he was good enough to get the win. In doing so, he earned the 200th win of his career, becoming the 117th member of the 200-win club.

Verlander went 5 1/3 innings, yielding four runs (all earned) on seven hits and a walk with six strikeouts. On the season, Verlander is now 12-8 with a 2.65 ERA and a 223/29 K/BB ratio in 169 2/3 innings. Sunday’s win helped the Astros stave off the surging A’s. The Astros now have a one-game lead in the AL West.

Only two active pitchers have more wins than Verlander: Bartolo Colon (247) and CC Sabathia (244). Zack Greinke will likely be the next member of the 200-win club as he currently has 184 to his name.