The Diamondbacks announced that J.J. Putz, who spent the 2011-14 seasons as a member of the team’s bullpen, has been hired as a special assistant to president and CEO Derrick Hall. According to the press release, Putz will assist the team in both a baseball and business capacity. Some of the responsibilities outlined for him include attending community events, meeting with season-ticket holders, working with pitchers in Spring Training and visiting the club’s minor league affiliates throughout the course of the 2015 regular season.
“I am very excited to give back to the game that I love and have been fortunate to be a part of for 14 years,” said Putz in the press release. “To be a part of such a great organization is a blessing. My family and I have been so grateful to be a part of the Arizona community. It is a dream come true to work alongside a great man like Derrick. There are not enough great things to say about this organization. I am forever thankful.”
Hall expressed similar excitement about the opportunity to work alongside Putz: “J.J.’s performance on the field and popularity off the field make him a tremendous addition to the front office. His personality is a perfect fit for our culture and we are looking forward to him helping the D-backs in a number of different ways during this next phase of his career.”
While the press release doesn’t specifically state it, this most certainly appears to be the end of the 37-year-old Putz’s playing career. If that’s the case, Putz will cross the finish line with very strong marks. In 566 2/3 career innings, he posted a 3.08 ERA with 9.5 K/9, 2.9 BB/9, a 1.15 WHIP, a 37-33 record and 189 saves. Putz’s best season came with the 2007 Mariners, when he posted an exceptional 1.38 ERA, 10.3 K/9, 1.6 BB/9 and recorded 40 saves while finishing a league-high 65 games. He earned $38.875MM over his playing career, per Baseball-Reference.com, and his 189 saves rank 51st all-time. If this is indeed the end of the line for his days on a big league mound, we at MLBTR wish Putz the best of luck in his new career path and congratulate him on a very nice playing career.