The Tigers announced the move Thursday. Putkonen had been designated for assignment last week when the Tigers signed left-handed reliever Tom Gorzelanny.
The 28-year-old Putkonen has been dealing with elbow problems. He made only two appearances last year - both in April - before spending the rest of the season on the disabled list. In his three-year career with Detroit, Putkonen is 1-5 with a 4.66 ERA in 44 games.
Detroit has 40 players on its 40-man roster.