Mets add J.J. Putz while Seattle Mariners begin overhaul
LAS VEGAS -- Turns out record-setting closer Francisco Rodriguez is going to have company, if not competition, at the back end of the New York Mets' bullpen after agreeing to a three-year, $37-million deal that became official tonight.
Because just hours after the Mets announced the Rodriguez signing, they traded for former Seattle Mariners closer J.J. Putz in a three-way, 12-player deal that also involved the Cleveland Indians.
The Mets will get Putz, outfielder Jeremy Reed and reliever Sean Green from Seattle and will send reliever Aaron Heilman, outfielder Endy Chavez, former Long Beach state pitcher Jason Vargas and three prospects to Seattle.
The Mariners also get Cleveland outfielder (and former Dodger prospect) Franklin Gutierrez. The Indians get reliever Joe Smith from New York and infielder Luis Valbuena from Seattle.
Whew! Got it?
For the Mets, who lost two consecutive National League East titles to a poor bullpen, the key to the deal was clearly Putz. But the deal was also a good one for Seattle, which got seven players to kick-start a major rebuilding program.
The Mariners are also likely to try to move veteran outfielder Raul Ibanez and former Dodgers third baseman Adrian Beltre this winter while Marlins outfielder Jeremy Hermida is among the players they've been rumored to be seeking.
-- Kevin Baxter
Photo: J.J. Putz reacts after the final out of a 4-3 victory over the Oakland Athletics' in September. Credit: John Froschauer / Associated Press