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D-backs agree to one-year extension with Putz

PHOENIX -- The Arizona Diamondbacks announced they have agreed to a one-year extension through 2014 with closer J.J. Putz, according to D-backs Executive Vice President & General Manager Kevin Towers. The D-backs exercised the 2013 club option on his contract on October 20, 2012.

“J.J. has provided much-needed leadership and stability for our bullpen the last two years,” said Towers. “He has been an integral piece and helped set the foundation for our bullpen’s turnaround so we are excited to have him in place the next two seasons.”

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“I’m very happy to be a member of the great D-backs organization and family though 2014,” said Putz. “It’s special to be with my family year round so we’re all really excited.”

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 (2011-12), 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. His 77 saves with Arizona rank second on the franchise list behind only Jose Valverde (98).

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