Earlier this month, Foxsports.com’s Ken Rosenthal entertained the thought that the Arizona Diamondbacks could trade reliever J.J. Putz to the New York Yankees for outfielder Ichiro Suzuki. Our own Joe Jacquez wrote that this deal could prove beneficial to the D’backs. With regards to both of you gentlemen, I must say this as nicely as possible: there is no way I make this deal.
Now, from the Yanks’ point of view, this is a no-brainer. They would be giving up a guy who might only be a platoon player at this point in his career to get a guy who can still pitch and fill a big hole in their bullpen. Yes, I know Putz had five blown saves last year. I also know that four of them came before he went on the disabled list and that he had none over his final 21 games. In fact, from July 1st through the end of the season, Putz gave up only three earned runs. Scoff all you want about the limited number of innings in that span (21 1/3), that is still a solid statistic. Even at 36 (soon to be 37), why would Arizona give up the Big Guy for Ichiro, who wouldn’t even be a starter in the outfield for them? They are set with Mark Trumbo, A.J. Pollock and Gerardo Parra roaming from left to right. At best, Ichiro platoons with Pollock in center, a position he would prefer not to play. Then, what happens when Cody Ross returns? Do you think Ichrio would even see Chase Field after May 1st?
J.J. Putz still has value to the D’backs. I would rather the team holds onto him for another season. If the D’backs trade Putz, it would have to be part of a package to acquire someone like Yovani Gallardo as Rosenthal suggests in that same column. Trading him for Ichiro, straight up? Now way.