The Mariners made official the re-signing of center fielder Franklin Gutierrez on Wednesday. He signed a 1-year, $1 million deal with the possibility of $2 million in performance incentives, as first reported by ESPN Deportes.
A corresponding 40-man roster move will be announced later.
Gutierrez met with reporters in the Mariners clubhouse a little while ago. Here are a few notes …
— Gutierrez said he’s taking new medication to help treat his Ankylosing Spondylitis, which was the diagnosis for the joint pain he’d been experiencing for some time. More on that here.
“When I say I’m feeling good, it’s because, well, everybody knows what I have right now. It was very important for me to find out what I had, so now I have to try to manage this. I’m under a medication that is working very well. I’m feeling more normal right now. And you know, just feeling good. Just trying to work on my batting, trying to be ready for spring training and be ready for any situation, whatever the manager needs me in the game.”
— Other teams showed interest, Gutierrez said, but he “didn’t think twice” after the Mariners made a formal offer during the winter meetings.
— Gutierrez said he doesn’t care which outfield position he plays, and seems willing to play whatever role new manager Lloyd McLendon sees fit.
Can he play every day? Not at this point, he said. But he’s been working out in a manner that he described as “normal.”
“I think it’s more about proving to myself that I can be the same player I was before. Probably, the thing that I have right now, it’s not like I can play every day right now, but I feel like I can help my team any way right now. The past season, they used me the last month playing 3 or 4 days a week, and it works that way. So obviously I need to talk to the manager. I need to know how he wants to use me. My mind is open to play anywhere in the outfield. I just want to try to help my team do a better season this year.”
— After Gutierrez noted that he felt returning to Seattle was like coming back to “family,” it was brought to his attention that a good bit has changed, in terms of personnel, since the end of the season.
“There’s a lot of different reasons why it feels like a family here,” he said. “Obviously we have a lot of talent here, a lot of young players that are getting mature. It feels like this year’s going to be different. I feel in my heart that we’re going to do better than the past seasons.”
— He originally planned to play winter ball in Venezuela this year, but decided instead to focus on working out in preparation for spring training.