White Sox agree to deal with P Putz
CHICAGO (AP) – Reliever J.J. Putz agreed Friday to a one-year, $3 million contract with the Chicago White Sox and will fill a setup role in the bullpen.
Putz is 23-19 with a 3.24 ERA and 103 saves in 337 relief appearances over seven major-league seasons with Seattle and the New York Mets.
He was 1-4 with a 5.22 ERA with the Mets last season in 29 appearances before undergoing arthroscopic surgery to remove a bone spur in his right elbow on June 9, causing him to miss the remainder of the season.
“We’ve been monitoring him ever since the season ended and his daily workouts we’re very familiar with,” White Sox general manager Ken Williams said, adding Putz would be under no restrictions once spring training begins in February.
“He passed the physical with flying colors and we couldn’t be happier with what was communicated to us,” Williams added. “Needless to say, we feel from the top of our rotation down through the end of the bullpen, we feel as strong as we’ve ever been.”
Putz was an AL All-Star in 2007 when he was 6-1 with a 1.38 ERA and 40 saves. He was traded to the Mets in a three-team deal in December of 2008.
He will serve as a setup man, along with lefty Matt Thornton, for closer Bobby Jenks. The White Sox had an opening in their bullpen after not re-signing free agent Octavio Dotel.
Putz can made an additional $250,000 based on appearances: $125,000 each for 60 and 70 games. He has $3 million in available bonuses based on games finished: $450,000 for 40, $525,000 for 45, $600,000 for 50, $675,000 for 55 and $750,000 for 60.
During their offseason, the White Sox have now traded for Mark Teahen, added Putz, shortstop Omar Vizquel and outfielder Andruw Jones, and re-signed utility man Mark Kotsay.
Williams said now that the bullpen and the bench have been addressed, he will turn to offense, where the White Sox need a leadoff hitter since Scott Podsednik has also not re-signed.
If the White Sox do locate a top-of-the-order hitter, Williams said: “We’d be in pretty good shape going into spring training.”
“But there is always one more move to make, no matter what it is. No matter where you feel like you are at a given time, there is always something else to do.”