Last week the World Series finally ended, our nightmare season is finally over and the Hot Stove season has started. There have been trades already, options picked up or bought out and players have filed for free agency. Trade rumors are already out there, most of them so far unfounded this early and it’s only November 10th.
Last week after the World Series the Mets decided rightfully so to decline the 9 million dollar option they had on relief pitcher J.J. Putz and bought out his contract for 1 million dollars. It’s a move that was not surprising at all, we all knew that when Putz was traded to the Mets last winter that the Mets were not going to pick up an option for 9 million dollars, that much money is too much for a setup guy. Unfortunately for the Mets Putz had a horrible 2009, capped off with having season ending surgery.
There is no doubt that Putz came here to the Mets last year ready to help them win, knowing that he would be the 8th inning guy, the guy who would setup for K-Rod. Putz knew that he would be playing the 2009 season for a contract with a new team, a team that would hopefully make him a closer again. His plans like our 2009 season didn’t work out so well, he is now a free agent relief pitcher coming off of a surgery on his pitching arm. The Mets didn’t do any favors for Putz as they made him get a cortisone shot instead of getting surgery that he wound up getting anyway.
Putz has to know that he is not going to make a lot of money and that he may not even become a closer on another team. The Mets are in the market for a setup guy,preferably cheap so they can fill other holes for 2010. Enter J.J. Putz. The Mets could give him a low guarantee contract with performance based incentives. Putz would be in the same situation he found himself entering 2009 in that he would playing for a contract for the next season and will be providing a much needed bridge to K-Rod. Now I won’t bash the Mets if they don’t go out and sign Putz as he is a risk but I think with a low free agent class and a questionable amount of money available for the Mets Putz is an option that Omar and the Wilpons need to keep on their minds when building the bullpen for the 2010 season.