PHOENIX -- Kevin Towers is an outspoken proponent of a strong bullpen, and on Monday he once again put his money where his mouth is.
The Diamondbacks announced the signing of closer J.J. Putz to a 7 million contract extension through 2014, a source with knowledge of the deal said, a move that means all three of the D-backs' late-inning specialists -- Putz, David Hernandez and Heath Bell -- are under contract for the next two seasons.
Putz is due 13.5 million, Bell 13 million and Hernandez 3.25 million through 2014. To put that in perspective, the D-backs three most expensive starting pitchers -- Ian Kennedy, Trevor Cahill and Brandon McCarthy -- will make only slightly more than that the next two seasons, depending on how Kennedys first two arbitration years play out.
Putz, Bell and Hernandez have closed for playoff teams in pennant races, and the lessons Towers learned with a strong bullpen in San Diego, led by Hall of Famer-in-waiting Trevor Hoffman, were not lost. Towers ...