Just seven days after designating him for assignment, the Arizona Diamondbacks have officially released J.J. Putz. The veteran reliever is now a free agent and will likely draw some interest on the open market as he’ll only cost a signing team a pro-rated portion of the major league minimum for the remainder of the season.
Arizona had signed Putz to a one year, $7 Million extension this past offseason to keep him from reaching free agency. He’s due roughly $3.86 Million for the rest of the year, which the D’backs will be responsible for paying.
Putz’ tenure in Arizona had been relatively solid up until this season began. From 2011 through 2013 he’d appeared in 157 games, picking up 83 saves while posting a 2.45 ERA and 1.036 WHIP. After spending the first two seasons with the club as their primary closer, Putz was shifted out of the role early last season and never returned to it. This season things had been far from comparable. Putz missed just over a month with a forearm strain, but otherwise has appeared in just 18 games. He has a 6.59 ERA and 1.683 WHIP in 13.2 IP. He’s seen a significant drop in velocity on his fastball this season, which could be related to the forearm injury.
With a 3.08 ERA and 1.152 WHIP over his career, Putz could still offer some veteran value to another club now that he’s on the open market. He is 37 years old, but at a minimal cost there is little risk for any team that may express an interest.