"Don't be surprised if the Diamondbacks trade right-hander J.J. Putz." So wrote Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal over the weekend, though it doesn't appear, at this point, to be any more than the purest of speculation on his part, with not even the "anonymous MLB source with knowledge" chipping in on the deal. Instead, this appears based on nothing more than the arrival of another closer in Addison Reed, which seems to cause Rosenthal to conclude that Putz must be on his way out. I guess he may have missed, oh, the 2013 season, where the arrival of Heath Bell did not signal the departure of Putz, though admittedly, the salary gap this time round is rather more significant, with Reed at league minimum and Putz due to earn $7 million. I think what really sends this off into pure speculation, is Rosenthal's subsequent suggestion that we deal Putz for... Wait for it... Wait for it... Yankees' outfielder Ichiro Suzuki. This seems to be based solely on Rosenthal's premise that the D-backs would have to trade Putz's salary on a "like for like" basis, and Suzuki is on the New York books for $6.5 million in 2014. Quite why we would want Suzuki, whose best days are clearly well behind him (he has averaged less than one bWAR over the past four years), I have no clue. Even a Yankees site is dubious, saying we "can do better than an old, spare part outfielder who doesn't hit for power and doesn't get on base." About the only way this would make even the slightest sense is some bizarre scenario where Masahiro Tanaka says he'll sign with us if he gets to play alongside the Japanese legend in 2014. Otherwise, perhaps slightly more credible is Rosenthal's alternative suggestion, that Putz "could be part of a trade for a starter.," in the eventuality that we don't sign Tanaka. Then, we'd be looking at the various Option B's, and one wonders whether Putz plus Owings or Gregorius might net us a better fifth member of the rotation than the remaining available free-market option, who seem to peak at Matt Garza or Ubaldo Jimenez.
Trading J.J. Putz?
AZ Snake Pit | Jan 7