He is back (pending his latest physical). Franklin Gutierrez will sign a one year contract for $1 million and could make another million if all incentives are met, like playing in more than 40 games, still being alive at end of training camp, and passing an airport security body scan. And if he plays more than 50 games, there will be a Gutierrez bobble head night replete with a colorful band aid sponsored by Johnson & Johnson.
The Mariners released Franklin at the end of the season so they would not have to pay him $ 7 million in the last year of his contract. I don’t know if he had other offers, as clubs had to be wary of signing a thirty year old who has spent more time in hospitals than baseball diamonds. In the last three years Franklin as missed 313 of 486 games. He has had hamstring problems, hip and joint issues, a torn pectoral muscle, concussion, strained oblique, stomach disorder, and ankylosing spondylitis. He has had more work done on his body than the $6 million man.
He will join newcomers Corey Hart and Logan Morrison, both with knee problems, as most likely to end up on the disabled list. Spring training is still a month and half away, but the Mariners are stocking up on medical supplies, far more than in years past.
On the plus side, he hit 10 homers in 145 at bats for Seattle last year when healthy, so maybe he still has power from the right side, something the M’s need and he was a Gold Glove centerfielder before injuries took there toll and again a centerfielder is needed. For the fourth year in a row it can be said that if Franklin is healthy. . . well, he could be a solid player. Franklin deserves to be healthy, at least for one year, a year in which the Mariners are negotiating with Willie Mays to get is DNA and begin a rapid cloning process developed by Austrian doctor, Frank E. Stein.
Welcome back Franklin.