After a flurry of activity on the first day of the MLB Winter Meetings in Orlando, FL, the Arizona Diamondback and GM Kevin Towers have made it through the entire second day without releasing a single press release. Justin Upton wasn't traded, and likely won't be. Second tier players Gerardo Parra and Brandon Allen could be offered up as redundant pieces but so far are still under Towers' control.
Perhaps the biggest surprise of the day was the deal that wasn't announced. All of your favorite Diamondbacks Insiders -- your Piecoros and Magruders and Buster Olneys -- all had reported that the D-backs would be announcing the J.J. Putz signing today. He was only pending physical examination which makes us wonder if Putz (pronounced, Pütz) is being held up by some kind of ailment. He did miss time last year with tendinitis in the knee and had elbow surgery while with the Mets in 2009.
It would seem the Diamondbacks aren't going to repeat the mistake the Mets made by glossing over his physical prior to signing him. In this report from Staten Island Live.com (which surely must be a reputable source since it's on the Interet), Putz reported that he had a bone spur that the Mets basically ignored until it got to the point it needed surgery and instructed him to lie to the media about it. That didn't sit well with Putz.
"The toughest part was having to face the media and tell them that you feel fine, even though you know there's something wrong," Putz said in this February 2010 article.
The elbow didn't seem to be an issue last season in Chicago where he had a bounce back season throwing 54 innings in 60 games. His velocity has declined however, from a 96 mph fastball in 2007 to an average of 93.9 last season.
Putz threw the heater almost 80 percent of the time in 2007 but only 59 percent in 2010. He threw more sliders (14%) and far more splitters (21%) then in years past. The right knee tendinitis that sent him to the 15-day DL in late August last season was the only health issue he had in an otherwise stellar year. Putz posted an ERA of 3.86 in the final month of the season after he came back from the knee injury.
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