Mariners Sign Gutierrez To Four-Year Deal

The Mariners finalized the signing of center fielder Franklin Gutierrez to a four-year, $20.5MM deal with a fifth-year club option today. The contract reflects a growing commitment to run-prevention around the league and specifically in Seattle. GM Jack Zduriencik, who signed defensive wizard Chone Figgins earlier in the offseason, said Gutierrez was "a huge part" of the Mariners' league-leading ERA last year.

Venezuelan reporter Francisco Blavia first tweeted that the deal was "very, very close" and FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal confirmed as much before the Mariners announced the deal this morning. 

Gutierrez is arbitration-eligible for the first time, so the deal buys out all three arb years and at least one free agent year. Though it was signed in March of '06, it seems that Grady Sizemore's contract might have been a comparable. Sizemore received $20.7MM for the same four-year slice of his career. On a deal signed in February of '08, Curtis Granderson will earn $27.25MM for that portion of his career.

Gutierrez, 27 in February, hit .283/.339/.425 in 629 plate appearances for the Ms after coming over from Cleveland in a December '08 trade.  The real story is his defense, as the Mariners employed him as a full-time center fielder and were rewarded with a 27.1 UZR/150. (the best mark in baseball for any position among those with 1,000 innings).

Ben Nicholson-Smith contributed to this post.


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59 Comments on "Mariners Sign Gutierrez To Four-Year Deal"


andrewdavis82
5 years 7 months ago

aren’t they just the busy bee this offseason

stl_cards16
5 years 7 months ago

and the Mariners are showing no signs of slowing down now.

skoz
5 years 7 months ago

Great move for the M’s. Dude is going to be a stud over the next few years.

5 years 7 months ago

Seems like a OK deal. He was once a top prospect with LA.
Weirdly enough, he was traded by LA for Milton Bradley

sjrphoto612
5 years 7 months ago

seems like a “OK” deal? locking up the best defensive center fielder in the game for 4 to 5 years at 5 mil per?…thats an amazing deal..Shows that Jack Z is a magic man and that Guti is a team player by giving one heck of a discount to the GM and team that gave him his shot to show what he can do…

5 years 7 months ago

Best defensive CFer? Isn’t that very subjective? In fact the stats say Adam Jones is.

strikethree
5 years 7 months ago

Not if you can prove it…

Even if you don’t fully believe in UZR, just watching him in one or two games is enough — the guy can fly.

scatterbrian
5 years 7 months ago

Which stats are those?

That being said, I’m not one to hang my hat on UZR ust yet. It’s just not time-tested enough to the point where I’d base contracts on it. There’s just too much fluctuation in the numbers for me to be convinced that it truly equates to the dollar values derived at Fangraphs.

bucs_lose_again
5 years 7 months ago

Nope. And it’s not even close.

Jason_F
5 years 7 months ago

Which stats? Gold gloves won?

DrBagelman
5 years 7 months ago

Best defensive center fielder this year? Sure. In the game? You can’t determine that yet. Gutierrez’s UZR rating is drastically helped by the fact that they had an amazing mix of defensive left fielders and a pretty good defensive RF. This really isn’t that good of a deal. He’s 26, a light hitting OF, and he got the same kind of a deal that Jose Reyes got (when he was 24). THAT was a good arbitration signing. This arbitration signing is an overreaction to a great year by a player no one was expecting anything great out of – he’s a league average offensive OF that we’re basing his defensive worth on only one year of data.

I just don’t get this one to be perfectly honest. Not with next year’s free agent class, Felix hitting free agency soon, and the fact that you could definitely have been better off going on a year-by-year basis with him.

55saveslives
5 years 7 months ago

As a Giants fan, I HATE to admit, but Matt Kemp is easily up there in the discussion of best defensive CF in the game.

txdodger73
5 years 7 months ago

Ah yes……Dodgers fans are deeply indebted to Depodesta for carrying more about OBP and less about character. Not only did Depo trade away Frankie for Milton he also exposed ‘The Flyin’ Hawaiian’ to the Rule V draft. At least Colletti was able to fetch Ethier for Bradley, but he made Depo’s CF carnage even worse by signing Pierre and Jones.

markjsunz
5 years 7 months ago

I am reading the book money ball Depodesta learned this formula under Sandy Alderson who knew nothing about baseball.And yes the character of a player goes a long way.

$1529282
5 years 7 months ago

Fantastic signing for the Mariners. Gutierrez was one of the most underrated players in baseball last season. Aside from the Morrow trade, I’m having trouble faulting anything Jack Z has done since taking over.

5 years 7 months ago

Great signing for the M’s. Now just lock up Felix

not_brooks
5 years 7 months ago

Defense alone almost makes this a bargain. The M’s will only be paying Gutz through his 30-year-old season. Unless he defense slips, this looks like a great deal to me.

andrewmets9
5 years 7 months ago

Great young hitter and fielder and has really benefitted from getting out of Grady Sizemore’s shadow and stepping into a team where Ken Griffey can teach him more.

Ian_Smell
5 years 7 months ago

He is a great great player.

R_y_a_n
5 years 7 months ago

Jack Z can be forgiven for the Morrow trade with all of these fantastic deals he is making.

schrute1
5 years 7 months ago

I’m not sure the Mariners should be locking themselves into long-term deals with mediocre offensive players, unless they plan on getting some real hitters soon.

Ichiroll
5 years 7 months ago

Guti is mediocre? Hmm.. How?

Suzysman
5 years 7 months ago

he said “offensive” – and yes, his wOBA stack up like this

07 – .339 (.331 Avg)
08 – .306 (.328 Avg)
09 – .337 (.329 Avg)
Car – .323 (.330 Avg)

notoriousnic79
5 years 7 months ago

F Gut is a great player and this will inevitably be another building block towards our first championship.

dire straits
5 years 7 months ago

Is that the best nickname M’s fan could think of? Poor guy

Jason_F
5 years 7 months ago

I’m with you. I think the A’s started this uninspiring trend with Huddy, Miggy, Chavy, etc. The creativity is really lacking…

willardthegreat
5 years 7 months ago

Actually, thanks to USS Mariner, he’s actually known here simply as Death To Flying Things.

HoneyNutIchiro
5 years 7 months ago

Great signing & at a discount no less! He’ll more than outperform his contract. GMZ does it again!

Suzysman
5 years 7 months ago

It isnt a huge problem, but seems a little pre-mature to me. His hitting stats are kind of comparable to Corey Patterson in those year/age ranges. Corey was also a fantastic fielder (posted a 33.8 UZR/150 in 2004!), but his hitting got to the point that it was so bad he was a liability on a club.

They had 3 years of Arbitration to Franklin already, and arbitration usually rewards hitters while kind of ignoring fielding prowess. This might have saved a little bit of money, but if his hitting continues down the negative paths of other weak hitters… Well, it is just a risk.

5 years 7 months ago

Good point about arb rewarding offense, and the Patterson comp is interesting.

bjsguess
5 years 7 months ago

Yeah – I’m not seeing how this is anything special. The kid can play some serious defense – one of the better defenders in the league. But his bat is just so/so.

I don’t think this is a bad move – just one of those moves that is out there. Since arbitration is focused so heavily on offensive production I don’t see how this will save the club a ton of money.

scatterbrian
5 years 7 months ago

So what happens to Ackey?

Infield Fly
5 years 7 months ago

Sweet for the M’s! He’s a great talent especially defensively…and hopefully soon he’ll get his props for it with a gold glove!

IloveWa
5 years 7 months ago

Ackley is a 1st or 2nd basemen or LF not Center.

scatterbrian
5 years 7 months ago

Oh he’s not? Even though he was drafted as a 1B/CF and played a lot of center at UNC last year, then played some CF in the AFL?

Fielding: He catches the ball, but he’s not a great first baseman. He has the chance to be a plus center fielder.
Range: His speed would give him good range in the outfield; it’s not applicable to his play at first.

Quacktastic_Duck
5 years 7 months ago

They are currently reforming Ackley to play 2B. Not to mention the kid is so young, he most likely won’t even be in the majors until this contract ends.

nrmax1988
5 years 7 months ago

If Ackley takes 4 more years to reach the bigs that would be a massive disappointment. He’s not even that young.

IloveWa
5 years 7 months ago

I wonder when he’s going to make his first All Star apperance??? GO MARINERS!!!

Alldaybaseball
5 years 7 months ago

Wow the Mariners got Carp and Gutierrez for one year of JJ Putz. Man their new GM is good!