Three years ago the Arizona Diamondbacks signed J.J. Putz to be their closer. For two seasons that worked out pretty well, though they pull him from that role last season after struggles early in the season (four blown saves in April alone) and an elbow injury in May that caused him to miss time.
Now he is due $7 million in 2014, and with the team’s addition of Addison Reed, they might look to trade Putz. Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports writes the following about the possibility:
Don’t be surprised if the Diamondbacks trade right-hander J.J. Putz following their addition of former White Sox closer Addison Reed. Putz is signed for $7 million in 2014, and the D-backs most likely would be required to accept a comparable salary in return.
Yankees outfielder Ichiro Suzuki, earning $6.5 million, could be one possibility, though it is not known whether Yankees ownership would part with Suzuki or how he would adjust to a backup role.
Putz also could be part of a trade for a starter such as the Brewers’ Yovani Gallardo if the D-backs fall short in other pursuits.”
These suggestions make little sense except for the fact that the salaries line up. Of course the Yankees would be interested in dishing Ichiro for Putz, but why the heck would the Diamondbacks do that? Even with some more room in the outfield after trading Adam Eaton, it’s hard to ever justify trading a pitcher for an outfielder who won’t start.
As for the Gallardo rumors, one supposes that it would take more than Putz to get Gallardo, but that doesn’t seem realistic for a move that might happen soon, especially with so much to still be settled with starting pitchers in free agency. As Rosenthal notes, the Diamondbacks will have to see how they do in their pursuits of Masahiro Tanaka, Matt Garza, or anybody else before going the trade route.