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Mariners finalize one-year contract with Franklin Gutierrez

By Mike Axisa | Baseball Writer

The Mariners are going to roll the dice on Franklin Gutierrez in 2014.
The Mariners are going to roll the dice on Franklin Gutierrez in 2014. (USATSI)

MORE: FA tracker: position players | FA tracker: pitchers

The Mariners and outfielder Franklin Gutierrez have agreed to a one-year, incentive-laden contract, reports Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. Jon Morosi of Fox Sports first reported a deal was in the works.

Gutierrez, 30, gives the team a much needed right-handed outfield bat. He's a career .287/.344/.474 (134 OPS+) hitter against lefties and plays outstanding defense in center field.

Injuries have been a major problems for Gutierrez in recent years. He's dealt with a serious stomach illness (2011), an oblique strain (2011), a pectoral strain (2012), a concussion (2012) and a hamstring strain (2013).

The Mariners declined a $7.5 million club option for Gutierrez a few weeks ago, so the new deal figures to come in at something less than that. The signing is unlikely to prevent the team from pursuing a bigger bat like Nelson Cruz or Shin-Soo Choo.

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