D-backs release former closer Putz

D-backs release former closer Putz

SAN DIEGO -- The D-backs officially released reliever J.J. Putz on Saturday after the veteran cleared waivers.

Putz was designated for assignment by the D-backs on June 20, which allowed them up to 10 days to trade, release or outright him.

"I would like to keep pitching," said Putz at the time, adding that he was "probably not" willing to go down to the Minor Leagues.

Putz was the D-backs' closer for 2011-12 and half of 2013 before being limited by injuries. Off the field, he was a leader in the clubhouse.

"I've been on plenty of different teams, but the group of guys in that clubhouse are a special group and not being able to see those guys everyday is going to be the hardest part," Putz said. "They're just quality, character guys."

The D-backs are on the hook for the roughly $3.5 million left on Putz's contract this year. If another team signs him, they will only have to pay the prorated portion of the $500,000 minimum salary.

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.