The Mariners are in desperate need of outfield depth, and reports are coming in that they've found it—or, at least, a buy-low option. The Mariners are on the cusp of re-signing Franklin Gutierrez to a one-year deal. In all likelihood, it's the deal Jason Bay received last year. There are likely performance options that take it higher than 1 year, $1 million—but that's probably around where it starts. There is no downside to this deal. If Gutierrez stays healthy and ends up being some approximation of his former self, he's a bargain at a position of need. If his health continues to be a freakish problem, as it was as recently as this month, the Mariners can cut him loose with no impact. His deal will not inhibit future spending, and there's no guarantee he even makes the team out of spring training. Now, for the delusional optimism. Since the Mariners signed Robinson Cano, they've added three bargain bin players. Morrison, with Smoak on the roster, is excess. But the Mariners do need right-handed bats and, to this point, they've only added cheap ones. It could be that Zduriencik will round out the rest of the roster with buy-low-and-hope-for-the-best players—or maybe he's saving for something. Hopefully he's saving for something. On Gutierrez specifically, he has his fans and he has his detractors. Between Seattle and Tacoma, he's played in a total of 248 games the past three seasons, having suffered a long list of maladies. And, sure, if you want you can be angry at him. I don't understand it, but I'm not going to tell you what to do. But in the fantasy world where Franklin Gutierrez is healthy, where he performs at the peak of his abilities—which I think is above what we saw in 2009—he's one of the 10-15 best position players in the game. It's likely we'll never see that peak because the world is a horribly cruel place, but few buy-low options have a ceiling as high as his.
Mariners on the verge of bringing back Franklin Gutierrez, reports Morosi
Lookout Landing | Dec 18