We heard about the possibility of a reunion over the weekend and the Mariners made it official today by signing outfielder Franklin Gutierrez to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.
Gutierrez, who turns 32 next month, sat out the entire 2014 season due to a gastrointestinal issue. However, he’s been playing winter ball in Venezuela and wants to continue his playing career.
Gutierrez hit 18 homers in 2009 and won a Gold Glove Award in 2010 for his excellent defense in center field, but constant injuries have derailed his career. He has played a grand total of 173 games dating back to 2011. The Mariners obviously can’t count on him given his history, but it’s a low-risk flier.
Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that free agent pitcher Madison Bumgarner is asking for a nine-figure deal.
Your first impression of that may be “what? how?” A lot of that, however, is probably bound up in your understandable feeling that Bumgarner is too old to get that kind of scratch. But then you remember that, oh wait, he’s somehow still only 30 years-old. Indeed, he’s only ten months older than Zack Wheeler, who just nabbed a five-year, $118 million deal from Philly.
Bumgarner, obviously, has much more mileage on the odometer than Wheeler does, and he’s not the ace he was a few years ago, but he’s coming off a fine year, having put up a solid 3.90 ERA and 203/43 K/BB ratio over 207.2 innings in 2019. He would be a fine addition to the top — or at last near the top — of a contender’s rotation.
The White Sox, Twins, Cardinals, Reds, Braves, Padres, and Yankees have all been mentioned among possible landing spots. Figure his market to heat up a good bit once Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg sign and some of those contenders start looking for fallback options.