Selected by the Indians in the fifth round of the 2008 First-Year Player Draft, Putnam, 25, played his way up through the minors until he made his major league debut with the Indians in September 2011. He saw time in eight games before the end of the season and gave up 10 hits and five earned runs in 7.1 innings pitched.
However, he was traded to the Rockies in January 2012 for pitcher Kevin Slowey along with cash considerations. With the Rockies, Putnam appeared in two games and pitched three innings. He allowed three hits but did not allow a run to the nine batters he faced during the 2012 season.
The Cubs finished the 2012 season with a 61-101 record, making them just the third team in the history of the franchise to lose 100 games and the first to do so since the 1966 Cubs.