The Mariners Thursday officially signed closer Fernando Rodney to a two-year contract, and said that OF Franklin Gutierrez had a relapse of his stomach ailment and won’t play in 2014. While Rodney joined the club in spring training in Peoria, AZ., Gutierrez informed GM Jack Zduriencik that he will not report.
Gutierrez told the team he has suffered a relapse of many of the symptoms he struggled with last spring, and does not believe it is fair to the team to come to camp if he is unable to compete. Instead he will spend the year getting healthy.
As a result, Gutierrez was placed on the restricted list and removed him from the 40-man roster, leaving the club with a dearth of good defensive outfielders.
Gutierrez, 30, re-signed as a free agent Dec. 18 to a one-year contract.
He batted .248 with seven doubles and 10 home runs in 41 games last season, but missed 106 games in two DL stints with a strained right hamstring, April 23-June 21 and June 25-Aug. 25. Gutierrez reached double digits in home runs (10) for the first time since 2010, despite appearing in only 41 games. He averaged 14.50 at-bats per home run, the sixth-best ratio in the majors by players who hit 10 or more long balls.
Gutierrez appeared in 478 games for the Mariners from 2009-2013. He battled injuries over the last three seasons appearing in only 173 of 486 team games, making six trips to the disabled list. He was a Gold Glove winner in 2010.
Rodney, whose signing was first reported last week, turns 37 March 18. He went 5-4 with 37 saves and a 3.38 ERA (25 ER, 66.2 IP) in 68 relief appearances with Tampa Bay in 2013. Over the past two seasons with the Rays, he combined to record 85 saves with a 1.91 ERA in 144 relief appearances (76 in ’12, 68 in ’12).
During the two-year stretch, he ranked second among American League relievers in saves and ERA, while ranking third in appearances.
In 12 seasons with the Tigers (2002-2009), Angels (20010-11) and Rays (2012-13), the right-hander is 29-44 with 172 saves and a 3.70 ERA in 563 career relief appearances.
Since 2009, Rodney has been one of the more dependable relievers in the American League, ranking second in appearances (328), third in saves (139) and in innings pitched (317.0). In 2012 he finished fifth in AL Cy Young voting, after going 2-2 and 48 saves and a 0.60 ERA (5 ER, 74.2 IP) in a career-high 76 relief appearances. The ERA was the lowest by a relief pitcher in MLB history (min. 50.0 IP).