Friday, December 11, 2009

Did The White Sox Make a Putz Move?

Relief pitcher J.J. Putz has signed with the Chicago White Sox for a one-year contract worth $3 million.

Putz pitched with the New York Mets in 2009. It was exactly one year ago that Putz was acquired from the Seattle Mariners in an 11 player trade which also involved the Cleveland Indians. Putz was going to be Francisco "K-Rod" Rodriguez's set up man but his season was disastrous. In 29 appearances, Putz was 1-4 with a 5.22 ERA.

In Seattle, Putz had been the closer. He saved 36 games in 2006 and 40 games in 2007. But in 2008, Putz sustained an elbow injury and ended up losing the closer job to Brandon Morrow. His elbow injuries would return while with the Mets in 2009.

So have the White Sox made a Putz move?

Obviously, Putz wants to close again but it would appear that he would start the season as the right handed set up man for Bobby Jenks. Some think the acquistion of Putz will light a fire under Jenks who was inconsistent in 2009. While he saved 29 games for the Chisox his ERA of 3.71 was more than a run higher than it was in 2008. If Jenks continues to struggle and Putz pitches the way he did in '06 and '07 he could be a closer again. Then again both Jenks and Putz might be ineffective. So then what?

Given Putz's recent elbow troubles I think the jury is out on this signing.

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