Discussion: J.J. Putz

We learned this week that, as expected, the New York Mets declined J.J. Putz's pricey 2010 option. Now that the righty has filed for free agency, tonight's discussion topic focuses on where he might land.

Putz last signed a contract with the Seattle Mariners, following a strong 2006 campaign as the team's closer. The deal was for $13.1MM over three years (plus incentives), and it looked like the club might have themselves a bargain when Putz posted a 1.38 ERA and 40 saves in 2007. Unfortunately, the next two seasons, one with the Mariners and one with the Mets, were marred by injuries, raising doubts about Putz's current worth.

Given his health problems, it would be very surprising to see Putz regain his 2007 form. However, his value has taken such a hit that teams could view the former closer as a less expensive gamble this offseason.

The Detroit Tigers might be a good fit. They pursued Putz aggressively a year ago and are faced with decisions on whether to bring back Brandon Lyon and Fernando Rodney. If Putz wanted to stay in the NL East, the Philadelphia Phillies will probably be looking for bullpen options. It's easy to imagine either team, or a handful of others, attempting to sign the 32-year-old to an inexpensive (but incentive-laden) short-term deal.

Where do you see Putz playing in 2010, and what kind of contract do you expect him to sign?


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