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.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts confirmed it in March and he confirmed it again on Tuesday: Clayton Kershaw will start on Opening Day, Jorge Castillo of The Los Angeles Times reports.
The Dodgers are one of four teams that will open the 60-game regular season schedule on July 23; everyone else begins play on the 24th. With a 10 PM ET start, the Dodgers will host the Giants at Dodger Stadium.
Johnny Cueto will likely pitch opposite Kershaw for the Giants. Cueto was named the Giants’ Opening Day starter on March 11, before the league shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic. Manager Gabe Kapler hasn’t yet officially named an Opening Day starter for the makeshift season.
Kershaw, 32, made the Opening Day start eight consecutive times for the Dodgers from 2011-18. Hyun-Jin Ryu, now a Blue Jay, pitched on Opening Day last season for the Dodgers. Last year, Kershaw logged 178 1/3 innings over 28 starts and one relief appearance, his highest innings total since 2015. He went 16-5 with a 3.03 ERA, 189 strikeouts, and 41 walks.