Mets receive Putz in 12-player trade
LAS VEGAS — The New York Mets obtained J.J. Putz from Seattle last night as part of a three-team, 12-player trade that gives them a setup man for new closer Francisco Rodriguez.
New York dealt seven players — six to the Mariners and one to Cleveland — to get three back in a huge swap at baseball's winter meetings.
The Mets shipped reliever Aaron Heilman, outfielder Endy Chavez, lefty Jason Vargas and three minor leaguers to the Mariners for Putz, center fielder Jeremy Reed and reliever Sean Green in the first trade by new Seattle general manager Jack Zduriencik.
Promising outfielder Franklin Gutierrez was sent from the Indians to Seattle. Cleveland gets reliever Joe Smith from the Mets and 23-year-old second baseman Luis Valbuena from Seattle.
An All-Star in 2007 when he saved 40 games, Putz was 6-5 with a 3.88 ERA and 15 saves in 23 chances last season, when he missed long stretches with ribcage and elbow injuries. His agent, Craig Landis, said Putz wants to remain a closer.
"He's one of the top five or 10 closers in the game," Landis said. "No, he would not want to be a setup man."
Rodriguez and the Mets completed their $37 million, three-year contract yesterday when he passed a physical.
UTILITYMAN LORETTA FINALIZES ONE-YEAR DEAL
The Los Angeles Dodgers finalized a $1.25 million, one-year contract with free agent utilityman Mark Loretta yesterday, helping further upgrade an infield that's been an offseason priority for the NL West champions.
The sides had already reached a preliminary agreement at the winter meetings but Loretta needed to complete a physical.
It was the second deal in as many days for general manager Ned Colletti, who completed a $17.5 million, three-year contract with third baseman Casey Blake on Tuesday.
PITCHER WOOD NEEDS PHYSICAL TO CLOSE DEAL
Kerry Wood was in Cleveland last night to take the physical needed before he can finalize a two-year deal with the Indians worth about $20 million.
Wood's physical is scheduled for today, a baseball official familiar with the arrangements said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the deal was not final. His contract would include an option for 2011.
Wood had 34 saves last season for the Chicago Cubs, then became a free agent. The 30-year-old right-hander has had a long history of injuries and moved from Chicago's starting rotation to the bullpen in 2007.
DETROIT GETS JACKSON FOR OUTFIELDER JOYCE
The Tigers acquired right-hander Edwin Jackson from the Tampa Bay Rays yesterday for outfielder Matt Joyce, Detroit's second trade in three days at the winter meetings.
Jackson is set to join a rotation alongside Justin Verlander, Armando Galarraga and Jeremy Bonderman, who had surgery in late June to correct a condition that caused a blood clot in his pitching arm.
The 25-year-old Jackson went 14-11 with a 4.42 ERA in 31 starts and 32 appearances for the AL champion Rays this past season. He spent three seasons with Tampa Bay following three with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
"Everybody in baseball has known his ability and potential for years," Detroit general manager Dave Dombrowski said. "He took a step forward last year and hopefully he'll take a step forward for us."