Franklin Gutierrez has left Mariners camp in Arizona and returned to Seattle to see a doctor about ongoing stomach problems.
According to Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times the Gold Glove-winning center fielder “has suffered from severe stomach pains since the second half of last season” and has been unable “to find out what the problem is” despite undergoing an endoscopy exam in Venezuela during the offseason.
Baker reports that Gutierrez’s condition is not considered serious at the moment and the Mariners are actually hopeful that he’ll be able to return to camp as soon as tomorrow, although obviously that depends on what, if anything, the doctor finds.
Gutierrez’s amazing defense was finally recognized with the Gold Glove award last season, but he struggled offensively and was particularly unproductive in the second half, which Baker speculates could be due to weight loss as a result of the stomach problems.
An interesting tidbit today from The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, who noted that ongoing talks between agent Scott Boras and the Padres have focused more on starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel than slugger Bryce Harper. Earlier this week, there were conflicting reports on the Padres’ level of interest in Harper — MLB Network’s Jon Heyman heard the club had not ruled out another big signing after getting Manny Machado, while Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune talked to multiple sources who believed otherwise — but any agreement between the two is looking unlikelier by the day.
As for Keuchel, Rosenthal cautions that a potential deal is still a “longshot,” especially as the team has other, cheaper options in mind. The 31-year-old southpaw turned down a qualifying offer from the Astros last year and is likely angling for something north of the five-year, $90 million contract extension he rejected from the club in 2016. He’s coming off of another solid performance in Houston, where he went 12-11 in 34 starts with a 3.74 ERA, 2.6 BB/9, 6.7 SO/9, and 3.6 fWAR through 204 2/3 innings in 2018.
While Keuchel has failed to garner substantial interest around the league this offseason, Heyman points out that the Phillies are looking to establish themselves as frontrunners for the lefty — and they’re far less likely to have hang-ups about his asking price, too.