Mariners

Gutierrez Signing Sparks Debate Among M’s Fans

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Franklin Gutierrez (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

Franklin Gutierrez (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

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(1090 The Fan) — While the talent may be there with outfielder Franklin Gutierrez, the hazard is right beside it.

On November 1, the Mariners seemingly parted ways with the injury-prone outfielder by declining Gutierrez’s option for 2014 — saving the club $7.5 million. It seemed like the move signaled the club wanted to move in a different direction; perhaps the front office was done with watching Guti make his far-too-frequent trips to the Disabled List.

But now it looks like that is not the case.

Seattle has inked Gutierrez to an incentive-laden, one-year contract — undoubtedly aimed to reward the 30-year-old to stay healthy.

It seems logical, right? With a cheaper one-year deal, Gutierrez won’t be the liability he had been for the previous four seasons. After all, he is a career .287 hitter and won a Gold Glove Award in 2010.  And during the two years he played more than 100 games (2009 and 2010) in Seattle, he held a decent on-base percentage of .321.

Some fans are going to optimistic route, hoping that Gutierrez could be MLB’s best bargain if he plays to his full potential…and isn’t sidelined with stomach issues, oblique issues, pectoral issues, hamstring issues or a concussion…

Other fans, including 1090 The Fan’s Steve Sandmeyer, feel the Mariners are wasting a spot on the roster given Gutierrez’s track record.

Via the Steve Sandmeyer Fan Page on Facebook, he says:

“Sign a more reliable player to the same deal. They’re out there, guys. Give the 4th OF spot to a guy you’ll be able to count on. Making Guti part of the plan — any part of the plan — is stupid. The downside of even signing him to a cheap deal — is that we all know how it’s going to end. Go in another direction instead and give yourself a better chance — even on a deal like this. Give the job to a kid. Give it to a healthy player. Give it to a guy that could start two days in a row against a LHP — which we all know Guti won’t be able to do. The rationale seems to be ‘it’s a 4th OF spot for no money, so no big deal.’ I approach it as, ‘why waste the 4th OF spot?’ Sure, it’s not going to make or break anyone — but why waste it?”

Signing Gutierrez may also end the possible signing of a power-hitting free agent like Nelson Cruz or Shin-Soo Choo.

What is your take?

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