D-backs exercise 2013 option on closer J.J. Putz

The Arizona Diamondbacks announced that they have exercised the 2013 club option on the contract with closer J.J. Putz. The announcement was made by D-backs Executive Vice President & General Manager Kevin Towers.

“J.J. has done a tremendous job for us over the past two seasons and is the leader of our bullpen,” said Towers. “We are looking forward to bringing him back in the same role next season as we continue to look for ways to strengthen the team.”

Towers and Putz will be available for comment on a conference call this morning at 9:30 a.m. Media wishing to participate in the conference call may dial 877.820.7831 and use the pass code *6637172* (must enter star before and after the passcode).

Putz posted a 2.82 ERA in 57 games in 2012, ranking seventh in the National League with 32 saves including 19 straight from May 26-August 31, the third-longest streak in club history. He also holds the franchise record for consecutive saves converted (28 from 2011-12). Putz had a franchise-record-tying 24 consecutive scoreless outings from June 23-August 31, 2012 tying Brandon Lyon’s mark from 2008.

Putz led a bullpen that posted a franchise-low 3.24 ERA. When he joined the club after the 2010 season as one of Towers’ first moves as the GM, the D-backs were coming off a franchise-high 5.74 bullpen ERA and the 2.50 difference over the past two seasons is the best in the Majors.

The Michigan native has four seasons with at least 30 saves including each of the last two seasons, becoming the first reliever in franchise history to record back-to-back 30-save campaigns. Putz is one of just three relievers in baseball to appear in at least 50 games and walk 12 or less batters in each of the past two seasons, joining Sergio Romo and Rafael Betancourt.

From June 23 through the end of the season, Putz posted a 0.84 ERA, the third-lowest mark among all NL relievers. He did not yield a homer over his final 46 appearances (44.1 IP).

In 514 career big league games, Putz is 33-31 with a 3.04 ERA and 183 saves which ranks 11th among active Major Leaguers.

He enters 2013 with the opportunity to become the 45th pitcher in Major League history to record 200 saves and the first in D-backs history to reach 100 saves. He has 77 saves with Arizona which ranks second on the franchise list behind only Jose Valverde (98).