The Mariners announced Wednesday that they have re-signed Franklin Gutierrez to a one-year deal. Due to club policy, the terms of the contract were not released.
Gutierrez missed the entire 2014 season due to a condition called ankylosing spondylitis, which is a type of arthritis that affects the spine. He returned to the Mariners on June 24th this season, and in 189 plate appearances, Gutierrez was fantastic.
He hit 15 home runs, posted an ISO of .327 (Bryce Harper's was .319 for the entire season), and hit .292/.354/.620. While no one is expecting Gutierrez to replicate those statistics for 2016, he's a low risk, high reward signing.
Keeping Gutierrez should provide the Mariners with flexibility, as he can platoon in left field with Seth Smith, or give Nelson Cruz a day off in right field. This signing comes just six days after Jerry Dipoto completed a six-player trade with the Rays in which he acquired right-handed starting pitcher Nathan Karns, left-handed reliever C.J. Riefenhauser, and outfield prospect Boog Powell.
The Mariners have also been connected to Brett Gardner, so it is unclear if the re-signing of Gutierrez is the end of their outfield reconstruction.