Sunday, March 23, 2014

Report: Reds looking to fill temporary closer role with J.J. Putz?

With Aroldis Chapman out of action until at least the middle of May, coupled with the slowly rehabilitating arms of Jonathan Broxton and Sean Marshall, the Reds could very well be looking for an outside solution to temporarily serve as the team's closer.

While the club does have internal candidates to fill the void, namely J.J. Hoover, Sam LeCure, Broxton and Marshall, a report by Jon Morosi of FOX Sports suggests the Reds could be "keeping an eye" on Arizona Diamondbacks reliever J.J. Putz.

Putz is a veteran right-hander with plenty of experience at closing. The 37-year-old is a former All-Star and has racked up 32 or more saves in four different big league seasons. Furthermore, Putz is in the last year of a four-year deal that pays him $7 million in 2014, so finances wouldn't be too much of an obstacle. Price also knows Putz well from their time together in Seattle where Price served as pitching coach.

Still, the Reds would have to give up talent in order to obtain Putz and it's unclear what the talent would be. Cincinnati doesn't have a wealth of top prospects readily available to use as trade chips right now so that could stand as a deal breaker.

Another consideration is the length of time in which the Reds need someone to fill in at closer. If Chapman does indeed return in the middle of May, acquiring Putz for such little time probably doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Plus, it's not as if the Reds don't have other in-house candidates they can possibly turn to between now and then. So, perhaps making a deal of this relative magnitude wouldn't be the wisest thing to do.


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