Dodgers sign Gutierrez to one-year deal

Team expects to use veteran outfielder as 'lefty-killer' off bench

February 20th, 2017

LOS ANGELES -- On Monday, the Dodgers announced the signing of former Gold Glove outfielder to a one-year contract.

Gutierrez adds a proven right-handed bat to the bench and offers protection with right-handed-hitting outfielders and coming off injuries.

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In 2016, Gutierrez played 98 games for the Mariners, posting a .246/.329/.452 slash line. He finished in a tie for second in the American League with 12 home runs against left-handed pitchers.

"He's a lefty-killer, he'll get opportunities in that regard," said manager Dave Roberts. "He can defend. We'll move him around and see how he handles it. Right now, we see him against left-handed pitching."

Management was determined during the offseason to balance the offense by adding right-handed bats. To that end, was acquired to start at second base. Switch-hitting catcher worked in the offseason to improve his right-handed bat, and Gutierrez was added to be at least a late-inning threat off the bench, if not a platoon outfielder.

"We restructured the roster a little bit, but it was also a perfect storm against lefties," said Roberts. "Guys had career lows, and that should balance itself out, but I think going into the season I like us against lefties or righties."

Gutierrez, who turns 34 on Tuesday, was originally a Dodgers farmhand before being sent to Cleveland in a 2004 deal involving Milton Bradley. His best offensive season was in 2010 with Seattle -- he hit .283 with 18 homers and 70 RBIs -- and he won a Gold Glove there in 2011.

Roberts said he and Gutierrez were in Dodgers camp together in 2003.

"He was a lot lighter, but always a really good athlete, good defender. He's carved out a nice career," said Roberts. "It's good we have a history. He looks great."

Gutierrez took the place on the roster opened by the Sunday trade of reliever to Baltimore.