Franklin Gutierrez on verge of return from stomach problems

1 Comment

Franklin Gutierrez has yet to play this season due to ongoing stomach problems that date back to last year, but Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times reports that the Gold Glove center fielder “will rejoin the team as early as Wednesday” barring a setback.

Gutierrez has been playing at Triple-A and Eric Wedge told Baker that “he’s feeling good.” However, the manager also cautioned: “I don’t want to get ahead of myself. We’ve been there before.”

His replacements have been terrible, as Mariners center fielders have combined to hit just .169 with a .554 OPS that ranks dead last in the league. Michael Saunders has been the primary fill in after initially splitting time there with Ryan Langerhans.

J.D. Martinez tells teams he prefers an outfield role

Getty Images
3 Comments

Free agent outfielder/slugger J.D. Martinez is reportedly seeking an outfield gig, says Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald. According to Silverman’s sources, Martinez’s suitors have been informed that the veteran slugger would give preference to teams that can offer a corner outfield spot, rather than a DH-only role.

That could spell trouble for the Red Sox, who appear to be Martinez’s biggest suitors so far this offseason. Outfielders Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi are firmly established at the corners, and prior reports from club president Dave Dombrowski suggest that center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. is not going anywhere anytime soon (thereby eliminating the possibility of reshuffling the outfield). The DH spot is still wide open for Martinez, who doesn’t seem to be totally closed off to the idea, but any full-time or part-time role on the field is likely off the table at this point.

Of course, the Red Sox aren’t the only ones pursuing Martinez’s services this winter. The 30-year-old slugger has been linked to both the Diamondbacks and Giants in weeks past, and while they have the roster flexibility to accommodate his preferences, they’ll need to clear another massive hurdle: the seven-year, $250 million contract he’s said to be seeking. Both clubs will need to get creative to make such a deal work. The Diamondbacks are rumored to be shopping right-hander Zack Greinke in an attempt to free up some room on their payroll for Martinez, while the Giants appear more inclined to scour the trade market for outfield help than shell out cash for another hefty contract in free agency.