Franklin Gutierrez Rumors
The Mariners have issued a press release to announce that they have declined their half of Joe Saunders' $8.3MM mutual option and also declined Franklin Gutierrez's $7.5MM club option. Saunders will receive a $900K buyout, while Gutierrez will receive a $500K buyout.
Saunders' option was originally for $7.5MM with a $500K buyout as well, but he boosted those numbers by reaching incentives for starts made and innings pitched. After signing a one-year deal with that option last winter, Saunders posted a 5.26 ERA with 5.3 K/9 and 3.0 BB/9 in 183 innings. Opponents batted .311/.365/.507 against Saunders and swatted 25 homers in 820 plate appearances.
Gutierrez, 31 in February, signed a four-year, $20.5MM extension with the Mariners after an outstanding 2009 season in which he batted .283/.339/.425 with 18 homers, 16 stolen bases and the best center field defense in the game (all totaling a stellar six wins above replacement). Unfortunately for both Gutierrez and the Mariners, he's had six separate DL stints over the life of that contract, dealing with hamstring, pectoral and oblique issues as well as a serious concussion.
Gutierrez can't be counted on to stay healthy, but as a low-risk option for a team in need of outfield help this winter, he would represent a high-upside gamble.
Here's a look at the latest news from Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com..
- Mariners reliever Oliver Perez has drawn interest from the Orioles, Braves, and other clubs, according to Heyman. Perez has reinvented himself as a bullpen arm in the last two years with the Mariners, posting a 2.00 ERA with 10.0 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9 across 63 innings in Seattle. Competing execs note that Perez is more cost-efficient in terms of prospects and cash than a guy like Matt Thornton. The veteran would cost another team the prorated portion of his $1.5MM for the rest of the year.
- Kendrys Morales and Raul Ibanez could also bring a strong return to General Manager Jack Zduriencik & Co and the Rays are among the clubs that have inquired on their hitters. However, parting with them would cause them to go into a free fall and also adversely affect the top prospects on the big league roster. For his part, Jack Z isn't anxious to move anyone. "We'll see how this week goes. I'm not going to be the aggressor,'' the GM told Heyman earlier this week. "I'm not shopping anyone.''
- Seattle people have been wondering if the Yankees might call about Morales thanks to their rash of injuries. The Rangers could also come calling.
- A Mariners person said they've gotten calls on injured center fielder Franklin Gutierrez, but his injury history hurts his value. Closer Tom Wilhelmsen has drawn interest and the Red Sox have had interest in the past, but Zduriencik is said to be hesitant to trade him since he's under control for a few more years. Brendan Ryan, who is no longer the starting shortstop, could also be of interest to someone as a defensive specialist in the infield.
- Opinions are mixed, but one rival executive tells Heyman that Phil Hughes could fetch quite a bit in a trade. Another rival exec quipped that the Bombers might trade Joba Chamberlain for a pine-tar rag. We learned earlier today that the Yankees are aggressively pushing both pitchers.
Earlier today, we learned that the Angels dismissed assistant GM Ken Forsch and special assistant Gary Sutherland. This comes after the Halos parted ways with GM Tony Reagins on Friday. Here are some notes on their GM search and other items out of the American League West..
- Today's dismissals make the possibility seem unlikely, but if the Angels decide to fill their GM vacancy from within, two candidates stand out above all the rest, writes Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times. Gary DiSarcina, the former shortstop who is a special assistant to the GM, and Tory Hernandez, the team's manager of baseball operations, would have the best crack at the job. Meanwhile, Oakland assistant GM David Forst and Chicago White Sox assistant GM Rick Hahn are believed to be very interested in the position.
- The Halos are fighting perception that team is run in total by manager Mike Scioscia, tweets Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated. A competing GM remarked to Heyman that "[Scioscia is] the GM" of the club.
- Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (via Twitter) echoed similar sentiments, wondering aloud if the Angels will hire an actual GM or another figurehead for the position.
- The Mariners used this past season as a developmental year for their young players, but GM Jack Zduriencik is open to bringing in key veterans to bolster that group next season, writes Greg Johns of MLB.com. Of course, Zduriencik expects a major boost from within with a healthy return of Franklin Gutierrez and a stronger year from Justin Smoak.
Players take a lot of pride in individual awards. While most will say that team success outweighs winning a Cy Young, Gold Glove, Silver Slugger, or MVP, there's no question that these achievements still serve as highlights in any player's career. There's more to it than just that, though. Many players have clauses in their contracts which award them extra cash for taking home these individual marks of excellence. As we're in the midst of award season currently, let's take a look at who's cashed in so far:
- Mark Buehrle: The Chicago lefty took home his second Gold Glove and was rewarded with an extra $25K on top of his $14MM salary.
- Joe Mauer: Minnesota's catcher earned his third Gold Glove and his fourth All Star nod, each netting him another $25K on top of his $12.5MM salary.
- Evan Longoria: Longo grabbed his second Gold Glove and his third All Star appearance, bringing in $25K and $50K, respectively, for an additional $75K on top of his ridiculously affordable $950K salary.
- Franklin Gutierrez: Seattle's standout center fielder finally took home a Gold Glove after missing out last season despite a terrific performance, and he'll bring home $50K to go along with his $2MM salary.
- Yadier Molina: Both Molina's second straight All Star selection and third straight Gold Glove will earn him $50K, for a total of $100K, pushing his 2010 earnings to $4.35MM.
- Albert Pujols: The NL's best player took home $25K for his All Star selection, $50K for his second Gold Glove, and $50K for his sixth Silver Slugger. Depending on where he finishes in the MVP voting, he'll take home $50K (third), $100K (second), or $200K (first).
- Brandon Phillips: His second Gold Glove earned him a whopping $250K, as it caused his 2011 salary to increase from $11MM to $11.25MM.
- Scott Rolen: Gold Gloves are nothing new for Rolen. He earned his eighth this season, and took home an additional $50K as a result. He also earned $25K for his sixth career All Star selection, for a total of $75K on top of his $6.5MM payday.
- Troy Tulowitzki: It was a big year for Tulo, who earned his first All Star selection ($25K), Gold Glove ($25K), and Silver Slugger ($50K) to go along with his $3.5MM salary.
- Michael Bourn: Bourn's second Gold Glove was good for $25K on top of his $2.4MM salary.
- Shane Victorino: The Flyin' Hawaiian's third consecutive Gold Glove gave him a $50K bonus on top of his $5MM salary.
- Matt Holliday: His fifth NL Silver Slugger brought in $50K, as did his All Star Selection, netting him $100K in addition to the $17MM he had already earned.
- Felix Hernandez: King Felix's 2010 Cy Young earned him a cool million dollars, as his 2011 salary will now increase from $10MM to $11MM.
- David Price: The sensational lefty's second-place Cy Young finish earned him $80K on top of his $1MM salary.
- Jered Weaver: The AL strikeout king's fifth place finish in the Cy Young voting earned him $50K.
- Adam Wainwright: A second place finish in the 2010 Cy Young voting earned Wainwright an additional $100K on top of his meager $4.65MM salary.
- Ubaldo Jimenez: His third-place finish in the Cy Young voting added $50K to his dirt cheap $1.25MM salary.
Obviously, this isn't a complete list, as not all players' award clauses are available to the public. Still, that's a total of over $2MM in award bonuses, with the MVPs still to come this week.
Thanks to Cot's Baseball Contracts for the info.
Some Saturday links...
- Red Sox GM Theo Epstein expanded a bit on his "bridge year" comment from the Winter Meetings, writes Dan Duggan of The Boston Herald.
- FoxSports.com's Ken Rosenthal tweets that the Players' Union calculates the present day value of Matt Holliday's deal at $113.6MM, or $16.2MM per year. The Cardinals, however, see the present day value as lower because they use a different discount rate. ESPN's Buster Olney has a breakdown of the award based incentives.
- Chad Jennings of The Journal News has some more utility player candidates for the Yankees.
- Tommy Rancel at DRaysBay wonders if Franklin Gutierrez's contract extension could be used as a blueprint for a potential B.J. Upton extension.
On this date nine years ago, the A's, Royals, and Devil Rays pulled off a three-team trade that included seven big leaguers. Oakland acquired Johnny Damon, Mark Ellis, and the late Cory Lidle while Kansas City received Angel Berroa, A.J. Hinch, and Roberto Hernandez. Tampa Bay picked up just Ben Grieve. Even though Berroa went on to win the Rookie of the Year Award in 2003, Billy Beane's club walked away as the clear winner of this blockbuster.
Let's take a look at what's being written around the baseball blogosphere as Spring Training inches closer...
- Fenway Nation thinks the Red Sox made a mistake by not re-signing Jason Bay, and wants to see the club atone for it by trading for Adrian Gonzalez.
- Simon On Sports interviewed a blogger from each team about their squad's offseason.
- At Home Plate says the Cardinals overpaid for Matt Holliday not because he isn't worth the money, but because no one else was bidding for his services.
- Athletics Nation graded the front offices of the last decade.
- U.S.S. Mariner calls Franklin Gutierrez's contract extension a major bargain, and notes it's similarities to the deal Mike Cameron signed with Seattle a decade ago.
- DRays Bay wonders if the Rays could use Alfredo Amezaga.
- Phillies Nation takes a look at some of the cheaper free agent pitching options that could entice the two-time defending NL Champs.
- Twins Overlook examines the progression of Delmon Young since arriving in Minnesota.
- River Ave. Blues ranked the $100MM contracts given to position players.
- More Hardball has some New Year's resolutions for various people and teams in the game.
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.
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.
1:19pm: Earlier in the week Brewers GM Doug Melvin told Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that the club isn't currently talking trades with the Mariners. A deal is still possible, but the Brewers have shown no inclination to trade Gamel.
10:59am: The Mariners are trying to trade one of their young players and lock another one up long-term, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Rosenthal hears that the Mariners are trying to trade Brandon Morrow for a corner infielder or DH. The M's may re-visit talks with the Brewers about a Mat Gamel for Morrow swap.
Links for Monday...
- Yakyu Baka translated a recent Yusei Kikuchi press conference. Kikuchi has yet to decide between the U.S. and Japan. The Mets and Tigers attended the conference.
- Baseball America's Jim Callis has the 2010 draft order, and he also explains which picks are protected from Type A free agent signings.
- Jermaine Dye talking to Scot Gregor of the Daily Herald on possibly finishing his White Sox career: "I don't really have a feeling."
- Talking to WEEI's Alex Speier, Jason Varitek would not address next season (he has a $5MM team option and $3MM player option). Manager Terry Francona made sure Varitek received an ovation yesterday.
- MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan gives one-liners on 35 Rangers players.
- Tyler Bleszinski of Athletics Nation talked to A's GM Billy Beane. Beane chatted about Matt Holliday, stolen bases, and the first base depth chart, among other things.
- Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star tells us about new Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos.
- Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times explains how advanced defensive metrics influenced the team's acquisition of Franklin Gutierrez.
- Outfielder So Taguchi hopes to play in 2010, according to Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times.
It's a busy day for international signings, but lots is going on at the major league level, so let's take a look:
- The Dodgers are looking for pitching, but how about Jason Schmidt? He pitched well at Triple A for the second time yesterday, according to MLB.com's Ken Gurnick.
- Newsday's Ken Davidoff creates a history of recent deadline deals.
- Edgar Renteria told Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle that he turned down two multi-year offers to sign with the Giants.
- Think it's too early to talk about Bryce Harper? Well Joe Dunand Jr., Alex Rodriguez's nephew, is just 13 years old and, as Ian Begley of the New York Daily News reports, he's already quite a slugger.
- The relative of another superstar signed with the Angels. Mike Piazza's second cousin will go pro, according to the Florida Tech Sports site.
- Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times crunches some numbers and suggests Franklin Gutierrez could be more valuable than Adam Jones this year.
- Kevin Towers says the addition of Bob Melvin to the Padres' staff wasn't meant to threaten Bud Black, according to Nick Canepa and Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune.
- Julio Lugo admits that his deal with the Red Sox hasn't worked out, according to Steve Buckley of the Boston Herald.
- Jim Salisbury of the Philadelphia Inquirer says the Phillies have more minor league pitching depth than ever.