Franklin Gutierrez close to returning to Mariners

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FOX Sports’ Jon Morosi has the exclusive report …

Gutierrez batted .248 with a .278 on-base percentage in 151 plate appearances this past year with Seattle and has played in just 81 total games since the start of the 2012 campaign, but the Mariners wanted a right-handed-hitting backup outfielder and the price should be cheap. Gutierrez hit .283/.339/.425 with 18 home runs and 70 RBI in 629 plate appearances for the Mariners in 2009 — his first year with the club — but it’s been mostly downhill from there, largely due to injuries. He will serve as depth at all three outfield spots.

Nationals’ Strasburg ejected for arguing from the stands

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
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NEW YORK — A pitcher getting ejected for arguing balls and strikes – on his day off? And, from the stands?

Nationals star Stephen Strasburg earned one of baseball’s most unique ejections – probably ever – in the third inning of Washington’s game against the New York Mets on Thursday.

Strasburg was sitting in Section 121 at Citi Field in this socially distant season because he’s scheduled to start Friday against Baltimore Orioles. He was apparently unhappy with the strike zone of plate umpire Carlos Torres after Austin Voth‘s 2-2 pitch to Pete Alonso on the outside corner was ruled a ball.

Moments later, Torres ejected last year’s World Series MVP, though it took a few seconds to realize who had been tossed.

Someone was heard yelling: “You’re (expletive) brutal” shortly before television cameras captured Strasburg doffing his cap as he walked up the staircase on his way out of the park.

“Sorry, folks – sorry, FCC,” Mets broadcaster Gary Cohen said on SNY.

The usually stoic Strasburg appeared to be grinning underneath his blue mask as he made his exit.