LOS ANGELES -- With each passing outing, closer J.J. Putz's $6.5 million contract option for 2013 looks better and better for the D-backs.
The right-hander signed a two-year, $10 million deal before the 2011 season and the D-backs hold an option for next year that includes a $1.5 million buyout.
Putz, 35, saved 45 games last year and had 27 entering Friday's game against the Dodgers.
"We have time to make that decision," D-backs general manager Kevin Towers said of picking up Putz's option. "He hasn't done anything performance-wise that would lead us to to believe that he wouldn't be here, but we don't have to make that decision right here today."
Proven closers have done well on the free-agent market over the past year. The Phillies signed Jonathan Papelbon to a four-year, $50 million deal during the offseason and the Marlins inked Heath Bell to a three-year, $27 million contract.
"Money is always an issue, but I think when you look at what other closers are signing for, the Heath Bells and stuff, $6 million [actually $6.5 million] for an experienced closer is probably not a bad number," Towers said. "He's been incredible, very consistent. The bullpen is a big part of our club, not only this year but going forward, and experience is important. A lot can happen in the next 30 days."
Putz, who makes his home in the Valley, made no secret of his desire to stay next year and beyond.
"I would love to finish my career in Arizona," Putz said. "I love everything about it here. Great organization, great teammates."
Before Friday, Putz had converted 18 straight saves and 21 of his last 22.
Back stiffness persists as Bloomquist set to return
LOS ANGELES -- The D-backs will activate Willie Bloomquist on Saturday when the rosters expand, but how active the shortstop will be remains to be seen.
Bloomquist was placed on the DL on Aug. 11 with a strained lower back. He recently completed a rehab assignment in the Arizona Rookie League but still has had some back stiffness when playing on consecutive days.
"I don't know if he's ready to play a full nine right yet, but I think he's able to pinch-hit, play a little bit," D-backs general manager Kevin Towers said. "We'll see how he feels on a day-to-day basis."
Bloomquist said that tests taken on the back earlier in the month showed a slight cartilage tear. Long term it is not expected to be an issue, but Bloomquist will need to give it an extended rest at some point, something he is not planning on doing right now.
"Some games it feels good, some games it stiffens up on me," Bloomquist said. "Some days it feels good, some days it doesn't."
The D-backs also plan on activating pitchers Josh Collmenter and Takashi Saito from the disabled list Saturday as well as adding infielder Cody Ransom to the roster. The organization also expects to add a pair of players from Triple-A Reno.
D-backs prospect Eaton hauls in two PCL awards
LOS ANGELES -- D-backs Minor League outfielder Adam Eaton was named Pacific Coast League Most Valuable Player as well as the league's Rookie of the Year.
Eaton, a 19th-round selection in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft who is ranked as the D-backs' No. 13 prospect, hit .379 with 44 doubles, seven homers and 45 RBIs in 116 games for Triple-A Reno.
"It's super, Rookie of the Year and MVP, that doesn't happen very often," D-backs general manager Kevin Towers said. "This guy's nailed it at every level. What I like is he's a multidimensional player, too. He plays very good defense as well. He always seems to be it the middle of something good that's happening."
Given Eaton's performance, it's hard to imagine that he would not receive a September callup, although in order to do that the club would have to add him to its 40-man roster. If he is not called up, he would still have another year before the club would need to add him.
"But it's kind of hard to elevate other guys from your club and leave him off just based on kind of rewarding a kid for a job well done," Towers said. "But you get him up here, you'd like to play him. A lot will depend on where we're at. If we happen to fall out of it, then maybe give him some starts out there if we end up calling him up. We're still kind of on the fence about what we're going to do. I have a pretty good idea of what we'll do with him, but those are things that once Reno's done we'll discuss."
Reno has qualified for the Triple-A playoffs and the D-backs do not want to take too many players off its roster yet.