Baseball notebook: D-backs lock up closer Putz; Oakland rewards Melvin

2013-01-15T00:00:00Z Baseball notebook: D-backs lock up closer Putz; Oakland rewards MelvinThe Associated Press The Associated Press
January 15, 2013 12:00 am  • 

PHOENIX - Reliever J.J. Putz has agreed to a $13.5 million, two-year contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks, a deal that adds a $7 million salary for 2014.

Arizona exercised Putz's $6.5 million option on Oct. 20 and he would have been eligible for free agency after the 2013 season.

The right-hander, 35, had 32 saves in 37 chances and a 2.82 ERA last year, converting 19 straight save chances from late May through August. He had a 0.84 ERA from June 23 to October.

Putz has a 33-31 record with 183 saves in 514 big league games for Seattle (2003-08), the New York Mets (2009), the Chicago White Sox (2010) and Arizona (2011-12).

A's extend manager

OAKLAND, Calif. - Bob Melvin received a two-year contract extension Monday that will take the Oakland manager through the 2016 season.

"To get an extension like this ... makes you feel better about doing your job," said Melvin, a former Diamondbacks skipper, 51, who was voted the AL's top manager after leading the Athletics to a West division title.

Oakland ended a five-year stretch without a winning record or playoff berth, finishing last season 94-68, losing to Detroit 3-2 in the AL division series. The A's did it with a payroll of $59.5 million - lowest in the majors - and 12 rookies.

Interpreters OK'd

NEW YORK - Interpreters may make mound trips with managers and pitching coaches this year.

Baseball owners approved the rules change when they met last week in Arizona. The change, which would be used to assist pitchers not fluent in English, now goes to the players' association, which also must OK it for the change to start this year.

Inside pitch

• Former major league shortstop Enzo Hernandez was found dead in his home Sunday in an apparent suicide in the eastern Venzuelan town of El Tigre. The 63-year-old played for the San Diego Padres between 1971-77 and finished his big league career with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1978.

• Toronto outfielder Colby Rasmus, Baltimore pitcher Tommy Hunter and Oakland catcher George Kottaras agreed to one-year contracts, leaving 133 players eligible to file for salary arbitration today.

Rasmus gets $4,675,000 under Monday's agreement, Hunter $1.82 million and Kottaras $1 million.

• Tampa Bay catcher David Wendt and free-agent catcher Bryan Henry have been suspended for 50 games each following positive tests under baseball's minor league drug program.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Follow the Arizona Daily Star

Deals, offers & events

View more...