White Sox Hurlers J.J. Putz and Bobby Jenks: Phillies Among Others Show Interest
Like vultures surrounding a dead carcass, teams are flying overhead of the Chicago White Sox, hoping for some scraps to add to their contending team as the White Sox slowly waste away in the American League Central race.
The Texas Rangers have already shown interest in 33-year-old catch A.J. Pierzynski and the latest whispers say the Philadelphia Phillies, among others, are scouting reliever/setup man J.J. Putz and closer Bobby Jenks, with a focus on the latter.
Jenks has currently shown some positives after a dreadful start, which nearly saw him lose the White Sox closer role, even getting his fastball back up in the high 90s. In his last three outings, Jenks has struck out four in three innings pitched with no walks.
Just a minuscule sampling of Jenks' season, but the signs are in the fact he has been firing his fastball in the high 90s, which could mean his calf injury could be fully healed.
Ozzie Guillen reported that Jenks' calf is no longer bothering him, so one would assume that is the case.
The 29-year-old Jenks sits on a 5.40 ERA with a 1.21 WHIP, striking out 20 in 15 innings pitched while walking seven. Jenks has, however, given up 21 hits in the 15 innings pitched.
With Matt Thornton and Sergio Santos looking to be fine closer possibilities, one would imagine the White Sox would have no reason to pay Jenks a multi-year contract and with the Phillies suffering injuries to Ryan Madson and Brad Lidge, Jenks would fit perfectly in the Phillies' bullpen.
Jenks need look no further than former World Series teammate Jose Contreras, who has dominated out of the Phillies pen, to see how pitchers are adjusting to the National League.
The Phillies are also reportedly looking at 33-year-old pitcher J.J. Putz, who has extensive experience as a setup man and closer, for the same reasons as Jenks.
Putz is only sporting a one-year $3 million contract, so he is not too costly for the Phillies nor are the White Sox adamant in keeping him like they are with Thornton or Santos.
Putz currently sports a 3.95 ERA and 1.02 WHIP, striking out 18 and walking two in 13.2 innings pitched.
Although Kenny Williams denies he is about to make a trade, he did confirm he has been listening to phone calls regarding the movement of his players.
The Phillies and White Sox have been busy together in recent years, moving players such as Aaron Rowand, Jim Thome, Gio Gonzalez, Gavin Floyd, and Freddy Garcia.
Trading a closer to a contending team that feels desperate in the bullpen is usually a case of highway robbery for the team losing a closer. Closers can be created and are not worth big contracts.
It would be in Williams' best interest to get something for at least Jenks, rather than sign him to a multi-year deal or let him walk.
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