The Arizona Diamondbacks have had a very busy offseason, starting with the trade that imported Heath Bell from the Miami Marlins to the three-team deal that sent phenom pitcher Trevor Bauer to Cleveland. They continued their activity by extending the contract of reliever J. J. Putz through the end of the 2014 season, according to The Associated Press (via Yahoo Sports.)
The 35-year-old closer had his 2013 option picked up by the team in October and now will pitch in the desert for an additional year. He saved 32 out of 37 chances and posted a 2.82 ERA in 2012. In the second half of 2012, he let up only three earned runs in 26.1 innings, posting a 1.03 ERA, striking out 36 and walking four. He did not let up a single run in July or August of 2012.
The Diamondbacks hope he can turn his fantastic second half into an All-Star 2013.
Arizona will sport a bullpen with three veterans (Putz, Bell and Brad Ziegler) and several solid young pitchers such as David Hernandez, Josh Collmenter and Tony Sipp.
If Putz can lock down the ninth innings and the other pitchers can pitch to their roles, especially with Heath Bell removed from the circus in Miami, then Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson should have a lockdown pen in a very competitive National League West.