The Los Angeles Dodgers have agreed to terms on a one-year, major league deal with veteran outfielder Franklin Gutierrez, according to a report from Manolo Hernandez of beisbolporgatas.com.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports later confirmed the deal while mentioning that the 33-year-old will earn a base salary of $2.6 million, with a chance to earn an additional $400,000 with incentives included in his contract.
As noted by Heyman, other teams reportedly interested in his services included the Tampa Bay Rays as well as the San Francisco Giants, who continue to seek help to go alongside Hunter Pence and Denard Span, now that Angel Pagan has left on free agency.
Gutierrez missed the entirety of the 2014 season due to injury, however, made his return in 2015 with a triumphant campaign, hitting with a slash line of .292/.354/.620, well beyond expectations which landed him a contract with the Mariners for the upcoming 2016 season.
At this point in time, things didn't seem to be quite as bright as they could have been, however, he did manage to record a .246/.329/.452 slash line, alongside 14 home runs and 39 runs batted in, in a total of 98 games played. This included 283 plate appearances.
Once a dynamic outfielder, Gutierrez found a new label as a designated hitter this past season, used mostly against left-handed pitchers due to new limitations, which found him on the bench on a more constant basis as a full outfield had already been established with the likes of Norichika Aoki, Leonys Martin and Nelson Cruz aligned from right to left.
Gutierrez was acquired by Seattle back in 2008 following a three team, 12-player trade involving the New York Mets, Cleveland Indians, and his team at the time, the Arizona Diamondbacks. Many players were moved around such as Mike Carp, Endy Chavez, Ezequiel Carrera, Joe Smith, J.J. Putz, Maikel Cleto, Aaron Heilman, Jason Vargas, Sean Green, Jeremy Reed and Luis Valbuena to go alongside himself.
Entering Los Angeles, the club already has a congested outfield as Joc Pederson, Yasiel Puig and Scott Van Slyke are likely the starters, leaving Gutierrez on the bench alongside Andre Ethier, Darin Ruff, Andrew Toles as well as Trayce Thompson, leaving him in a rather familiar role.
As noted by Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register, Gutierrez returns to the organization where he was looked upon as a top prospect, however, was dealt back in April of 2004 to the Indians in exchange for Milton Bradley.
Following what has been a rather slow offseason, team officials have recently taken a good, hard look at this ball club of late, realizing the need for an upgrade in numbers against left-handed pitching, as they remain standing the league's worst from a season ago.
Gutierrez originally signed with the Dodgers as an amateur free agent back in 2000, and would lead onwards to exceed expectations at the minor league level. He would later go on to make his debut come August of 2005.