Arizona Diamondbacks designate former closer J.J. Putz for assignment


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PHOENIX — J.J. Putz saw it coming.

The way he had pitched and battled injuries, combined with the struggles his team was having, Putz figured it was just a matter of time before the Diamondbacks cut ties.

They did on Friday, designating their one-time closer for assignment.

"I'm not surprised; I had a feeling something like this was going to happen," Putz said on Friday from Chase Field. "I just didn't know when. They had to make a decision and this was probably the best one to make. I have nothing bad to say about anybody here."

Putz was a cornerstone to Arizona's 2011 NL West championship, providing a veteran presence while saving a career-high 45 games in his first season in the desert.

The right-hander saved 32 games in 2012, but his production dipped the past two seasons and he had a couple of health issues, including a stint on the disabled list this season due to forearm stiffness.

The 37-year-old Putz was moved into a setup role in the bullpen when Arizona signed Addison Reed this season and he had some struggles, going 1-1 with a 6.59 ERA with 14 strikeouts in 18 appearances for the last-place Diamondbacks.

Putz has 189 saves in 12 seasons, including 83 in four years with Arizona.

"It was a hard one," Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said. "I have the utmost respect for J.J."

Putz would like to keep playing. He just needs to find a team that wants him and would be a good fit his family, that lives in Arizona in the offseason.

Arizona has 10 days to trade, waive or release Putz.

"I'm still feeling good, my arm still feels good, so I guess it's just a holding pattern until we see what the future holds," Putz said.

Arizona recalled outfielder Ender Inciarte from the seven-day concussion disabled list to fill Putz's spot on the roster. He hit .205 in 34 games with the Diamondbacks this season.

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