Free Agent Profile: Franklin Gutierrez

By Matt Cowlishaw

Feb 21, 2012; Peoria, AZ, USA; Seattle Mariners center fielder Franklin Gutierrez (21) poses for a picture during the Mariners photo day at the Peoria Sports Complex. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

According to several reports and rumors, the San Francisco Giants are interested in free agent outfielder Franklin Gutierrez.

Commonly referred to as “Guti”, he has spent the last five seasons with the Seattle Mariners — or parts of seasons anyway.  Guiterrez is a tremendous defender – he won a Gold Glove in 2010 – and can provide somewhat of a spark at the plate against lefties.

His best season came in 2009, when Gutierrez hit .283/.339/.425 with 18 homeruns, 70 RBI, 85 runs, 24 doubles and 16 stolen bases over 153 games.  The following season Guti played in 152 games, but hasn’t surpassed the 100-games-played mark since then.

Gutierrez, who turns 31 in February, has suffered from various injuries and ailments over the years; irritable bowel syndrome, arm pain, a concussion and he is said to have a “genetic disorder that basically causes inflammation and arthritic pain in his joints and other parts of his body”, according to the Tacoma News Tribune.

Apr 22, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Seattle Mariners center fielder Franklin Gutierrez (21) dives for a fly ball during the fourth inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

He reportedly has curbed the problem with medication.

In 2013, Gutierrez was limited to just 41 games — in part due to the aforementioned condition —  but did hit 10 HRs.  He is a career .256/.306/.391 hitter.  While his numbers aren’t eye popping and he won’t wow you with his plate ability, putting him in a platoon with Gregor Blanco might be an ideal fit for Gutierrez, and the Giants if that is indeed the route they decide to take.  It would allow him to rest, and when in, there wouldn’t be any real drop off on defense.  Plus, he can play center field which would allow for more lineup flexibility.

Gutierrez hits left handed pitchers fairly well.  Over the course of his career he has put up a .287/.344/.474 line against them in 846 plate appearances.  While the name might not be sexy, Gutierrez can get the job done, when healthy.

Living in the Northwest, I’ve had the opportunity to see Gutierrez play on several occasions and this guy can flat out fly in the outfield and has some pop.

Check out some highlights, and enjoy the funky soundtrack below: