Franklin Gutierrez on verge of return from stomach problems

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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.

Texas Rangers ink free-agent ace Jacob deGrom to 5-year deal

Jacob deGrom
USA Today
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ARLINGTON, Texas — Free-agent ace Jacob deGrom and the Texas Rangers agreed to a $185 million, five-year contract Friday.

The two-time Cy Young Award winner leaves the New York Mets after nine seasons – the past two shortened by injuries.

After making his first start last season in early August, deGrom went 5-4 with a 3.08 ERA in 11 outings. He helped the Mets reach the playoffs, then opted out of his contract to become a free agent.

Texas announced the signing Friday night after the 34-year-old deGrom passed his physical. A person with direct knowledge of the deal disclosed the financial terms to The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the club did not announce those details.

“We are thrilled that Jacob deGrom has decided to become a Texas Ranger,” executive vice president and general manager Chris Young said in a statement. “Over a number of seasons, Jacob has been a standout major league pitcher, and he gives us a dominant performer at the top of our rotation. One of our primary goals this offseason is to strengthen our starting pitching, and we are adding one of the best.”

Texas went 68-94 last season and then hired Bruce Bochy as its new manager. The Rangers’ six straight losing seasons are their worst skid since the franchise moved from Washington in 1972.

The Rangers were big spenders in free agency last offseason, signing Corey Seager ($325 million, 10 years) and second baseman Marcus Semien ($175 million, seven years).