Mariners bring back Gutierrez with 1-year deal
Slugging outfielder returns for seventh season with Seattle after bounce-back year
Franklin Gutierrez is staying in Seattle.
The Mariners re-signed the outfielder to a one-year deal on Wednesday. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Gutierrez, who will turn 33 in February, hit .292 with 15 home runs and 11 doubles in 59 games for Seattle in 2015 after joining the club on June 24. His .620 slugging percentage ranked second in the Majors last season among players with a minimum of 150 at-bats, trailing only Bryce Harper's .649 mark. Gutierrez's home run total also ranked fifth among Mariners players, as he averaged 11.40 at-bats per home run.
Gutierrez didn't play in 2014 as he dealt with the effects of ankylosing spondylitis, a form of chronic inflammation of the spine and of the sacroiliac joints.
Gutierrez, who won a 2010 American League Gold Glove Award winner as a center fielder, has a .258 average, 60 home runs and 229 RBIs in six seasons with the Mariners.
Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto envisions Gutierrez platooning with the left-handed-hitting Seth Smith in left field next season.
"He's coming off of just a tremendous year, and I think we might have found a sweet spot for Franklin right now, in just the way he's used, the way he's asked to contribute, and just understanding how to manage his own personal situation," Dipoto said. "This was a no-brainer for us. We love his makeup, we love what he brings to our clubhouse, and just generally to the balance of the team. The fact that he wanted to be in Seattle and we wanted to bring him back made this one as simple as it gets."