“Cheap” talent is becoming a nearly extinct proposition in Major League Baseball, but if all goes well, the Seattle Mariners may have just signed a bargain.
— Chris Cotillo (@ChrisCotillo) December 18, 2013
The Mariners have reportedly inked outfielder Franklin Gutierrez (who was a free agent) to a 1-year, $1 million deal to return to the team, and I love this move. At one time, the 31-year-old Gutierrez was considered to be one of the top defensive outfielders in all of baseball, as evidenced by his 2008 and 2009 Fielding Bible Awards, but his career has been derailed by a smattering of injuries.
Gutierrez has appeared in a total of 173 games over the last 3 seasons as a result of various DL stints, and his productivity has spiked in the wrong direction. Still, a $1 million flyer on someone with this level of talent (Gutierrez was a 6.0 fWAR player in 2009) is a win, as long as he can stay on the field at all.
The player from 2009 is probably gone for good, but on defensive ability alone, Franklin Gutierrez can be worth than worth $1 million to a team that fashions itself as a potential contender.