Tigers target Putz, Wood for closer vacancy
From the Detroit Free Press:
The team has shown interest in free agent Kerry Wood in recent days and had preliminary trade discussions with theÂ SeattleÂ MarinersÂ about J.J. Putz.
Both right-handers have been targeted by theÂ New YorkÂ Mets, so Detroit officials may need to move quickly in order to have their pick.
Putz, 31, would certainly make for a compelling storyline if he were to become the Tigersâ€™ closer: He grew up in Trenton and pitched at the University of Michigan.Â
Now, obviously there’d be a bit of a “selling low” factor with Putz, as last year wasn’t his best. At the same time, though, if you’re interesting in moving him–and he’s certainly one of the team’s most valuable trade parts–the time might be right. Putz makes a mere $5.5M next season, followed by a $9.1M club option (or $1M buyout) in 2010.
GIven what we’ve seen from Zduriencik so far with respect to building a cheap 1B platoon, I have little doubt he could cobble together an effective bullpen–closer included–without plunking down $14.6M over two years for a proverbial “proven” closer.
I’m certainly not looking to trade him, but if you can turn Putz into a young position player and give yourself $14.6M to spend while at the same time not hurting the bullpen too much, more power to you.