Geoff Baker covers the Mariners for The Seattle Times. He provides daily coverage of the team throughout spring training, and during the season.
December 10, 2008 9:03 PM
Posted by Geoff Baker
A surprised J.J. Putz was working on his car outside his Arizona home an hour ago -- figuring he wasn't going to be traded any time soon despite the rumors here. Next thing he knew, his wife came out and told him: "Looks like we're headed to New York.''
Putz checked his cellphone and saw that he'd missed a call from GM Jack Zduriencik.
"I thought 'Uh-oh. Whoo-boy, this could be it','' Putz said.
Putz has established himself as a top closer in the majors, but goes to New York as a set-up man to Francisco Rodriguez. But for now, he's taking it all in stride.
"It's a new challenge and I'm excited about it,'' Putz said. "I'm going to a new team that's going to be very competitive. Frankie's a great closer and with Sean Green going as well, we should have a great bullpen.''
Putz said the toughest part will be spring training in Florida. He has a home close to the M's training facility in Arizona and a baby due on the way in March.
But he's already talked to Mets GM Omar Minaya about that and feels reassured.
"I'm really going to miss Seattle,'' he said. "The people I met there, the great friends and teammates. I have nothing but good things to say about my time with the Mariners.''