Sep 4, 2011, 8:02 PM EST
Gutierrez ends a disastrous season with a .224/.262/.273 line in 322 at-bats. He missed the first seven weeks with a stomach condition that was eventually diagnosed as irritable bowel syndrome. After debuting on May 18, he homered in his sixth game back, but then went the next three-plus months without one. He drove in a total of 19 runs all season.
Regarded by some as the best defensive center fielder in baseball, Gutierrez was an All-Star-caliber performer when he hit .283/.339/.425 with 18 homers and 70 RBI in his first season in Seattle in 2009. However, his OPS has dipped from .764 then to .666 in 2010 and .535 this year. If not for the long-term deal he signed, he’d probably be a candidate to be non-tendered this winter. Instead, he’s guaranteed $5.5 million in 2012 and $7 million in 2013.
An offseason spent working out and regaining strength could make Gutierrez a different player in 2012. The Mariners have no choice but to hope that’s the case. They do have center field alternatives in Casper Wells, Greg Halman and Michael Saunders, but it’s unlikely that any of them will ever be as valuable as Gutierrez was two years ago.
- Report: Two agents rumbled in the parking lot at the Winter Meetings 20
- Mets sign 40-year-old Bartolo Colon for two years, $20 million 38
- MLB rules committee decides to eliminate collisions at home plate 45
- Mariners sign Corey Hart to incentive-laden deal 27
- David Price would not consider an extension with the Mariners if he’s traded there 35
- Robinson Cano agrees to $240 million deal with Mariners (260)
- Report: Mariners willing to offer Robinson Cano a 10-year, $240 million deal (143)
- Report: Yankees have agreed to a three-year deal with Carlos Beltran (125)
- Brett Gardner is drawing “significant” trade interest (113)
- Managers, GMs to meet today to discuss the abolition of home plate collisions (113)