Friday, December 19, 2008

Gutierrez: Do You See What I See?

A Star? More thoughts on the Putz Deal...

Everyone agrees Franklin Gutierrez is the centerpiece of the deal for 2009 as far as the Mariners are concerned. You'd have to assume Aaron Heilman will get a chance to compete for the closer role. Or maybe even the 5th SP slot if they keep Batista and/or Silva in the bullpen. (Quick note to the M's: PLEASE don't even think about moving Morrow back to the bulpen. Seriously. A team this bad doesn't need a great closer. Toss Batista in there. I really don't care who you put there...just don't do it! PLEASE. Ok, moving on...)

ESPN's Tim Kurkjian described him as a player that Cleveland decided was not good enough to be one of their 3 starting outfielders. This is a team starting Grady Sizemore, Ben Francisco and Shin-Soo Choo in the outfield. Sizemore is an all star. Choo had an OPS of .946 in 317 AB last year, so he would be in the starting mix in most outfields. Francisco is not very good. So maybe the Mariners know something about Gutierrez that Cleveland doesn't. Maybe Cleveland has the wrong take on a kid who has been in their system for years and a professional ballplayer for 8 years. Mabye...but doubtful. What we do know is he is a terrific defender who has shown an inability to excel at the dish at the major and minor league levels. In 807 career AB's Gutierrez has hit .258 with an OPS of .707. Speed? Moderate at best (17 career SB).

A quick glance at his minor league career, which spans many levels and AB: 2314 AB, .281/70/298 (BA/HR/RBI) wth 84 SB. Project those numbers over a 450 AB minor league level season and you get: .281/13/57 with 16 SB and 76 runs. That's in the minors. Things get a little tougher in the bigs.

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