Franklin Gutierrez Close to a Minor League Deal With the Mariners
Earlier today I talked about the Mariners signing Endy Chavez to a 1-year minor league deal with a Spring Training invite, his third such contract with the M’s in three seasons.
Now, once again from the mouth of Bob Dutton at the Tacoma News Tribune, it looks like Franklin Gutierrez may be returning to the Mariners organization in 2015.
Guti, also known as ‘death to flying things,’ played for the M’s from 2009-2013. The M’s signed him to a 2014 deal, but his health condition–severe gastrointestinal issues– forced him to step away from baseball for the duration of the season. Over his previous three seasons with the Marinesr, Guti was only able to play in 173 of the possible 486 games.
But the outfielder, 31, is looking to make a comeback to the outfield in 2015.
This December Franklin Gutierrez played 10 games for Caracas in the Venezuelan Winter League, and has since drawn interest from several MLB teams.
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However, Guti has indicated his preference to return to the Mariners if he is able to perpetuate his comeback bid.
If the Mariners were to sign Guti, it would most certainly be with a minor league deal including a Spring Training invitation. And, if Guti were to sign that contract, it seems most likely he would start the season in Triple-A Tacoma, where he would be able to playing more frequently and gage the progress of his recovery.
In his 9-year MLB career, split between the Cleveland Indians and the M’s, Guti amassed a .256/.306/.391 triple slash with a 162-game average of 14 home runs, 59 RBI, and 14 stolen bases. Guti won an outfield gold glove award in 2010 with the Mariners, and his ‘death to flying things’ moniker has carried with his defensive prowess.
But if Guti needs a year or two to get back to 90 or 100%, is it worth the deal for the Mariners? Obviously, the monetary compensation would be low, but the M’s look to be so deep with young outfield talent Guti could end up eating up roster spots in Triple-A Tacoma.
What do you think? Do you want the Mariners to sign Franklin Gutierrez to a minor league contract? Do you think he ever plays in the MLB again, with the Mariners or otherwise?