News came Saturday afternoon that the Diamondbacks have traded center fielder Chris Young and cash considerations to the Oakland Athletics. In the process they received shortstop Cliff Pennington and minor leaguer Yordy Cabrera from Oakland.
The Diamondbacks then turned Cabrera and traded him to the Miami Marlins in exchange for right-handed reliever Health Bell and cash considerations. Bell has saved over 151 games over the last four years. That happens to be the most saves of any player in that span. Bell struggled with Miami last season with a 5.09 ERA closing 19 games in 73 appearances.
“Adding another veteran arm to our bullpen should serve to shorten the game for us as we now have several relievers with closing experience to get the ball to J.J. Putz,” said Towers. “Cliff is a blue-collar type player with postseason experience who can play both middle infield positions. He provides us with depth up the middle and versatility at the plate as a switch-hitter.”
Chris Young has been a fan favorite in Arizona since being called up six years ago. He finishes his career in a Diamondback uniform with a .239 average with 132 home runs and 408 RBI. Not to mention was one of the best outfielders the team has ever had defensively.
“I also want to thank CY for more than six years of dedicated service to the D-backs,” mentioned Towers. “He’s been the consummate professional and was a big part of our division-winning teams in 2007 and 2011, and we wish him all the best.”
The Diamondbacks have expressed a need to improve at short stop in their entire system. Adding Cliff Pennington is the first step in that direction. The 28-year-old has appeared in 125 games in his career. Pennington last season ranked third in the majors with a .859 zone rating on defense and was sixth in the American League .979 fielding percentage. He was selected 21st overall in the first round by Oakland in the 2005 draft.
Also on Saturday, the Diamondbacks announced that they will be bringing back their closer from the last two seasons, JJ Putz. The team picked up Putz’s club option for the 2013 season.
“J.J. has done a tremendous job for us over the past two seasons and is the leader of our bullpen,” said Towers. “We are looking forward to bringing him back in the same role next season as we continue to look for ways to strengthen the team.”
Putz goes into 2013 with the opportunity to become the 45th pitcher in Major League history to record 200 saves and the first in Diamondbacks history to reach 100 saves. His 77 saves with Arizona over the last two season ranks second in franchise history. Only behind only Jose Valverde who leads the franchise with 98.