Paul Sullivan of the Tribune tweets that the Sox and Putz have reached a one-year deal (Update: it’s for $3 million; Update #2: Another $3 million in games-finished incentives too). Putz was an elite closer a couple of years ago but declined big in 2008 and even bigger in 2009, ending the season with a tear in his UCL — which I thought was some sort of mixed martial arts league until I Googled it — back in August.
If he can show he’s healthy and regains at least part of his form from a couple of years ago it will likely inspire Bobby Jenks to start going to Curves in the afternoons before games.
It’s extension season and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Astros — who already agreed to an extension with Alex Bregman — are discussing contract extensions with Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole.
Funny thing about Verlander, by the way: when he got his current $180 million deal, most people fell into the “oh, there’s an overpay!” column. What’s more, this past winter, when everyone was talking about how bad it is to give guys big long term deals, Verlander’s name was notably absent in the conversation despite the fact that his deal has turned out to be quite good. I suppose that says something about how good the anti-long-term deal folks are at cherrypicking.
That being said, Rosenthal says “it would be an upset” if either Verlander or Cole signed extensions. I can see that. Verlander is locked up this year and has a vesting option for 2020, and a lot can happen in a year or two. Cole is a Scott Boras client and Boras clients tend to hit the market rather than sign extensions. Perhaps their former teammate, Dallas Keuchel‘s, terrible experience on the free agent market this winter will alter that calculus. Hard to say.