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.

59 Responses to Mariners Sign Gutierrez To Four-Year Deal Leave a Reply

  1. andrewdavis82 6 years ago

    aren’t they just the busy bee this offseason

  2. stl_cards16 6 years ago

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

  3. skoz 6 years ago

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

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

    • sjrphoto612 6 years 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…

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

        • strikethree 6 years 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 6 years 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 6 years ago

          Nope. And it’s not even close.

        • Jason_F 6 years ago

          Which stats? Gold gloves won?

      • DrBagelman 6 years 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 6 years 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 6 years 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 6 years 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.

  5. $1529282 6 years 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.

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

  7. not_brooks 6 years 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.

  8. andrewmets9 6 years 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.

  9. Ian_Smell 6 years ago

    He is a great great player.

  10. R_y_a_n 6 years ago

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

  11. schrute1 6 years 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 6 years ago

      Guti is mediocre? Hmm.. How?

      • Suzysman 6 years 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)

  12. notoriousnic79 6 years ago

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

    • dire straits 6 years ago

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

      • Jason_F 6 years 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 6 years ago

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

  13. HoneyNutIchiro 6 years ago

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

  14. Suzysman 6 years 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.

  15. bjsguess 6 years 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.

  16. scatterbrian 6 years ago

    So what happens to Ackey?

  17. Infield Fly 6 years 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!

  18. IloveWa 6 years ago

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

    • scatterbrian 6 years 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.

      • JLaw 6 years 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 6 years ago

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

  19. IloveWa 6 years ago

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

  20. Alldaybaseball 6 years ago

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

  21. grant77 6 years ago

    Great job by Gutierrez’s agent. Getting the Mariners to overpay for one good season at age 27 after several years of mediocrity is a smart move. It’s not enough money to hurt the M’s alot, but there’s a good chance he is on the bench by the third year.

  22. markjsunz 6 years ago

    18 HRS. 70 RBI, 270 BA very good centerfielder and likely to improve. I am not sure what is so bad about his numbers. Probably 20 HR. 90 RBI 20SB this year. The dodgers traded Gutierrez for Bradley, but then Traded Bradley to Oakland for Andre Eithier so it worked out.

  23. halifax 6 years ago

    Don’t forget Gutz (what we called him in CLE) was acquired in a package three-way deal with the Indians and Mets. Yes, the Mariners got him for one year of Putz (Putz for Gutz?), but they also gave aup a good young talent in 2B Luis Valbuena who looks like he could be a very good player also and played the majority of games at 2B last year for the Tribe.

    Going back to Gutz, he was a favorite of mine while in CLE. I love good defenders and he’s one of the best — good range, great glove and an absolute cannon arm — he made some fantastic, game-changing defensive plays while mostly manning RF. If he consistently identifies the breaking ball, something that takes young hitters consistent playing time to do, he’s going to be a tremendous CF in Seattle, where the park is huge.

    Good luck Gutz!

  24. Eric 6 years ago

    It just further goes to show all of us Mariner fans that Jack Zduriencik is so unpredictable. While we are asking about locking up Felix he is working on a deal to lock up the new found CF of now and the future in Seattle.

    And though yes we need to get Felix under contract, It is a wonderful thing to have one of the best GM’s in baseball who always seems to have an ace up his sleeve.

  25. HoneyNutIchiro 6 years ago

    I think Guti will more than exceed his deal. Great value IMO.

    Plus, he & Felix are pretty tight from the sounds of things so hopefully this helps in his signing an extension.

  26. bbxxj 6 years ago

    Yeah I really like what Z is doing up there in Seatle.

    Time will tell how effective his team will be but I love GM’s with a clear gameplan and then go out and exicute it. Z is obviously building a team around defense and team speed in an era when power is being overvalued. It kind of reminds me of how Beane was building a team around OBP and walks when those sorts of things were undervalued.

  27. I wonder if the Indians regret trading him to the M’s now. I guess they really like Luis Valbuena. I guess we gotta give Mike Brantley a full year in the pros to see if it was a good decision or not…

  28. Guest 6 years ago

    Whoa those are some long posts.. Hey another crazy M’s fan used to post long posts.

  29. MarinersRoyalsBraves2014 6 years ago

    Jack Zduriencik needs to watch more NL baseball. His love affair with the AL is a major handicap for the organization. I have been pleading on every forum the past few weeks to sign Orlando Hudson and I think he and M’s fans have never watched NL baseball. This is a shame because this team is built for NL baseball. We could have had 4 switch hitters in the order (9th-3rd, Hudson,Ichiro,Figgins,Bradley) and would have been built for defense and bunting and advancing runners, double maybe even triple steals.) It would have been so fun to watch. Now we have Casey Kotchman who is going to make the lineup resemble a deck of cards that needs to be shuffled every day.

    Here are his major transactions, its truly sad if he thinks of Orlando Hudson as some average Toronto Blue Jay from back in 2004. He has really become a great hitter since then and would have been perfect for the Mariners.

    Bradley, Branyan, Guti/Gutz, Cliff Lee – INDIANS
    Kotchman – RED SOX, ANGELS (Will be the M’s version of Doug Mienkiewicz)
    Figgins – ANGELS
    Bradley – ATHLETICS, RANGERS. (Had OK numbers with LAD)
    Chavez – BLUE JAYS

  30. lolll 6 years ago


  31. R_y_a_n 6 years ago

    First off, Bavasi DID make big mistakes. Off the top of my head, the Carlos Silva contract, the Washburn contract, the Johjima contract, the Bedard trade – do I really have to go on? Jack Z has been a breath of fresh air out in Seattle – the Kotchman and Morrow deals are really the only deals you can diss.

    However, it does seem you think Hall would be a productive bat in the lineup – he hasn’t been one since 2007, and sabermetrics don’t say he’ll bounce back.

    Why someone has to explain that Lee would not net you Lester alone is beyond me, even if you would take on Mike Lowell’s salary. Lester is already a fantastic young pitcher still signed at a bargain for a few more seasons, Lee has this season under control. Lee might be better this season, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Lester has the stuff and ability to be a top 5 pitcher in the league by 2011.

  32. eatnuts 6 years ago

    Branyan is 34 years old. What do you really think he would have accomplished in Seattle? Mike Lowell 35?
    Dude? Are you 35 and realize your are getting old, and hoping these guys can carry your torch?

  33. R_y_a_n 6 years ago

    Probably your lack of intelligence. I read your entire post, but not going to waste my time arguing it, because its clear your so set on your beyond ridiculous thoughts

  34. JLaw 6 years ago

    Agreed. Way this guy is way off. There are baseball fanatics all across the country who would love to have a GM who made moves like Z has this offseason for their team.

  35. JLaw 6 years ago

    Safeco Field is huge and tough to get big hits in. You have by far the most solid defense I’ve seen in years with Chone, Wilson, Lopez, and Kotch on the infield. If something does get hit into the outfield you have the best defensive outfield in my opinion as well with JUST Ichiro and Guti, despite whoever they rotate in LF. Defense never slumps and solid pitching will only add to that. If your team bunts, steals, and plays aggressive smallball baseball, they will be able to produce steady numbers every game while not allowing the other team to score.

  36. vtadave 6 years ago

    So many words, so little intelligence.

  37. That’s a lot of words.

  38. MarinersRoyalsBraves2014 6 years ago

    JLawya, that is why the team should have signed Orlando Hudson for 3mil and let Carp and Lopez play 1B. Kotchman is ok but M’s should still try to sign Orlando Hudson. Kotchman is a bench player, he has no set place in the order and will be bouncing around the lineup too much. At least with Orlando you know he is either going to hit 2nd,3rd or 9th. Kotchman is going to mistakenly be placed 3rd , maybe even 4th, when he should be 6-9th.

  39. JLaw 6 years ago

    I can agree with that logic. I am a big braves fan so I can tell you I’m no CrotchMan enthusiast, but I can tell you that he is one of the best around lately defensively at first base. Granted I like the idea of Hudson as well, I think that Kotch could bat ~7th and do so with a lot of success.

  40. vtadave 6 years ago

    Right. Your post speaks for itself.

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