LAS VEGAS -- The market for closers began taking shape Tuesday with the New York Mets signing Francisco Rodriguez and Cleveland nearing a deal with Kerry Wood, and some clubs with little money to spend began positioning themselves to avoid getting shut out.
Specifically, the Detroit Tigers and Milwaukee Brewers, two clubs in need of a ninth-inning guy, are talking with Seattle about acquiring J.J. Putz, sources with knowledge of the Mariners' activities said.
One source cautioned that nothing is imminent because neither the Tigers nor the Brewers appear to have the proper package of players that would satisfy the Mariners. Or, at least, they weren't offering them as of late Tuesday afternoon.
One thing to keep in mind is that new Seattle general manager Jack Zdurencik spent the past nine seasons in Milwaukee's organization, most recently serving as the vice-president and special assistant to the general manager for player personnel. As such, Zdurencik knows the Brewers' organization as well as anyone.
The Mariners, sources say, have not necessarily decided to trade Putz, but Zdurencik is said to be investigating all of his options. And one of them is to move set-up man Brandon Morrow into the closer's role and deal Putz.
The Mariners also are said to be listening to offers for third baseman Adrian Beltre.