The Mets' pursuit of Putz underscores the extent to which they want to rebuild their bullpen, which blew a crippling 29 saves last season and led to a September collapse for the second year in a row. Only a day ago, New York signed closer Francisco Rodriguez to a three-year, $37 million deal with a vesting option for a fourth year.
Apparently Putz would be utilized as the eighth-inning setup reliever. He had 15 saves last season while fighting injuries, and had 40 saves in 2007 and 36 in 2006. He is owed $6 million next season, the last year of his contract, although there is a club option for $8.6 million in 2010.
Although all the names in the massive deal aren't known, the Indians acquired infielder Luis Valbuena from the Mariners and reliever Joe Smith from the Mets, while the Mariners picked up outfielder Franklin Gutierrez from the Indians. One source had the Mets getting another reliever – 6-foot-6 right-hander Sean Green – and outfielder Jeremy Reed from the Mariners. The Mariners might also have gotten swingman Aaron Heilman from the Mets and another outfielder from one of the clubs. Minor leaguers also were part of the deal.
"The Mariners got the most players out of the deal," a source said.
- The Mets