Tigers would interest Putz
Yes, free agent reliever J.J. Putz confirmed, the Tigers would be a situation that interests him. But then, a lot of situations would interest him.
“I’d have interest in most teams, including the Tigers,” Putz wrote in an email to MLB.com Tuesday.
In other words, while a homecoming to Michigan might be a good fit for Putz, it wouldn’t be the only fit.
Both Putz and his agent, Craig Landis, said the Tigers have not contacted them. He technically didn’t become a free agent until this past weekend, after the Mets declined to pick up his option for next season. The Mets still hold exclusive negotiating rights with Putz until Nov. 20, though other clubs can call to express interest and talk in non-financial terms.
The intrigue surrounding Putz and Detroit stems from his Michigan upbringing, his college career at the University of Michigan, and the trade discussions the Tigers had with the Mariners last winter before Seattle sent him to the Mets in a three-team trade.
The Tigers moved on, signed Brandon Lyon later in the offseason, and went with Fernando Rodney as their closer out of Spring Training. Rodney and Lyon are both free agents.
The chance to close somewhere is definitely appealing, Putz said, though it isn’t the only situation he’d consider.
“I’d rather be a closer,” Putz wrote, “but I am open to setup jobs, depending on the fit.”
As for how he’s feeling after undergoing surgery in June to remove bone spurs from his throwing elbow, Putz was upbeat.
“My arm feels great! I’ve been throwing and rehabbing with no pain,” he wrote.