Franklin Gutierrez returns from DL after missing first 41 games with irritable bowel syndrome

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Franklin Gutierrez’s stomach problems dating back to last season were finally diagnosed as irritable bowel syndrome last month and the Mariners’ center fielder has been activated from the disabled list after missing the first 41 games.

Gutierrez’s production suffered down the stretch last season, but even at less than full strength he almost can’t help but be a huge upgrade over what fill-ins Michael Saunders and Ryan Langerhans gave the Mariners in his absence. They combined to hit just .173 with a .556 OPS that ranks dead last in the league.

When he’s right Gutierrez is a .275 hitter with 20-homer power, 20-steal speed, and exceptional range in center field. He hit well while rehabbing in the minors, so the hope is that Gutierrez is finally healthy.

Source: Aaron Judge, Yankees reach $360M, 9-year deal

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SAN DIEGO (AP) — Aaron Judge has agreed to return to the New York Yankees on a $360 million, nine-year contract, according to a person familiar with the deal.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on Wednesday because the deal had not been announced.

Judge will earn $40 million per season, the highest average annual payout for a position player. The contract trails only Mike Trout’s $426.5 million deal with the Los Angeles Angels and Mookie Betts’ $365 million pact with the Los Angeles Dodgers for biggest in baseball history.

Judge was offered a long-term deal by New York before last season that was worth $213.5 million over seven years from 2023-29. But he turned it down in the hours before opening day in April.

The 6-foot-7 Judge bet on himself — and won.

Judge set an American League record with 62 homers in 2022, powering the Yankees to the AL East title. He also tied for the major league lead with 131 RBIs and just missed a Triple Crown with a .311 batting average.

New York was swept by Houston in the AL Championship Series, but Judge became the first AL MVP for the Yankees since Alex Rodriguez in 2007.

Judge, 30, was selected by New York in the first round of the 2013 amateur draft and made his big league debut in 2016, homering in his first at-bat.

A year later, he was one of baseball’s breakout stars. He hit .284 with 52 homers and 114 RBIs in 2017, winning the AL Rookie of the Year award. The four-time All-Star has 220 homers and 497 RBIs in seven big league seasons.