The Mets got a double dose of bad news on the pitching front when setup man J.J. Putz was shutdown for the season after suffering a setback while rehabbing in Florida.
Yesterday, Omar Minaya said that Putz’ scheduled rehab appearance had been canceled to give him an extra day of rest, but a few hours later Jerry Manuel announced that Putz was being shut down for the season because of new fraying and a slight tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in his right forearm.
Putz had surgery to remove a bone spur from his right elbow June 9 and was apparently making progress but, an MRI yesterday afternoon later revealed the injury.
Putz, was earning $5.5 million in his walk year, has a $8.1-million club option for 2010 with a $1-million buyout. There is now no chance the Mets will pick that option up.
When Omar Minaya made the blockbuster 12 player trade to acquire Putz, he knew about the bone spurs in his shoulder and yet paid full price for damaged goods. The Mariners had been looking to unload Putz since the 2008 season after a red-flag-filled year in which he had just 15 saves and a 3.88 ERA. He missed a month of the season with a hyper-extended elbow and an AL executive not involved in the deal said in 2008 Putz’s fastball was somewhat diminished, he flushed his slider for a curve and often looked as if he was pitching in discomfort.
The Mets traded right-hander Aaron Heilman, reliever Joe Smith, center fielder Endy Chavez, first baseman Mike Carp, right-hander Maikel Cleto, left-hander Jason Vargas and center fielder Ezekiel Carrera in that 3-team deal.
In return the Mets got 29.1 mostly ineffective innings with a 5.22 ERA.