The Seattle Mariners have been kind to Franklin Gutierrez in the past as he battled health issues, and after playing a solid 2015 season with the Mariners, they have re-signed the outfielder to a one-year contract.
In 2014, Gutierrez took a year off from baseball while he battled gastrointestinal issues, but was always working to come back. In 2015, he spent half of the season in the Minor Leagues before being called up to the big league club. He has played in parts of six seasons with Seattle in his career starting in 2009.
While with the Mariners in 2015, he slashed .292/.354/.620 with 15 home runs and 35 RBI in 59 games for Seattle.
The Mariners did a great job easing Gutierrez back from his year off by having him platoon to play mostly against lefties and not over work him. He did get a chance to play a good amount outfield last season and with new Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto putting an importance on outfield defense, Guiterrez will have plenty of chances to prove himself out there.
The concern with Gutierrez comes with his injury history. From 2011 to 2013, he played in just 36 percent of Seattle’s games because of injury. When he is healthy, however, he can be a solid player at the plate and possesses a plus-glove in the outfield. Legendary late great Mariners broadcaster Dave Niehaus gave him the nickname “Death to all flying things” which shows you what he is capable of.
It is unlikely that he will start for this team, but if he can be a solid addition off of the bench as a fourth outfielder or fill in as a DH, Gutierrez at 32 can be a good player for the Mariners at this point in his career.
Gutierrez does have a .658 career OPS versus right handed pitching, so he could be a good candidate for a platoon role to begin 2016.