The New York Mets, a few days after signing top free agent CL Fransisco Rodriguez, are now looking to further improve what was a terrible bullpen last year. Reports say that the Mets may be close to making a 3-way trade with the Seattle Mariners and Cleveland Indians. It looks as if the deal will involve veteran J.J. Putz going from Seattle to New York, OF Franklin Gutierrez moving from Cleveland to Seattle, and a package of Mets LHP Joe Smith and Mariners 2B Luis Valbuena headed to the Indians.
The major player in this potential deal, J.J. Putz, is a veteran righty who could act as a set-up man for K-Rod if this deal happens. Putz has played in the majors since 2003, and became the Mariners’ full-time closer in 2006. In ’06, Putz converted 36 of 43 Save oppurtunities, striking out 103 batters with a 2.30 ERA. Putz was even more dominant in 2007, where he converted 40 Saves in 42 oppurtunities. He only struck out 83 batters in ’07, however had only a 1.38 ERA. Putz was hurt for most of the 2008 season, and only compiled 15 Saves, with 8 Blown Saves and a 3.89 ERA. However, if Putz can get back to form in 2009 and does end up going to New York, the Mets will go from having one of the worst bullpens in the MLB to boasting one of the best pens in baseball after only one off-season.