Franklin Gutierrez has been tearing up the ballpark..."/> Franklin Gutierrez has been tearing up the ballpark..."/> Franklin Gutierrez has been tearing up the ballpark..."/>

Franklin Gutierrez and Winter Ball: What it Means for the Seattle Mariners


Sep 19, 2012; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Mariners center fielder Franklin Gutierrez (21) passes Seattle Mariners third base coach Jeff Datz (28) at 3rd base on his way to home plate after hitting a solo home run against the Baltimore Orioles during the 4th inning at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

Franklin Gutierrez has been tearing up the ballpark during the winter leagues. As a player who only played 40 games in 2012, it is great to see what this guy to do when health allows him to. Overall in the Venezuelan Winter League, Gutierrez batted .349. In the last four games he played, he batted .474. He also had 13 runs, three home runs, six doubles, and 19 RBIs in just 22 games. It seems like he did really well.

As Spring Training rapidly approaches, the biggest concern with Gutierrez is his health. If he’s able to keep up and stay well and uninjured, he could wind up taking the Mariners’ center field position, which would put Michael Saunders into one of the corner field spots. If he can keep up performance like he had in the VWL, well then, he could definitely be  a strong point for the Mariners team.

Then there are those who see the good performance of Gutierrez as an opportunity to trade him for someone else. Geoff Baker at the Seattle Times thinks that by trading Gutierrez to the Los Angeles Dodgers, we could have a good shot at getting a reliable starting pitcher like Chris Capuano. The reason for this line of thinking is that Franklin Gutierrez started out as a Dodger, and the team was happy with him. Since he’s been performing well, it would make sense that they might be interested in taking him back – and perhaps willing to trade a left-handed starting pitcher for him.

What do you think? Should the Mariners trade Gutierrez or should they hold onto him as part of their team?