Get To Know: Franklin Gutierrez
Center fielder Franklin Gutierrez signed a $20.25 million, four-year deal with the Seattle Mariners in 2009 after batting .283 and driving in 70 runs last year with the club.
The Mariners acquired Gutierrez in a three-team, 12-player trade that also sent former Mariners reliever J.J. Putz to the Mets.
The Venezuelan-born Gutierrez had been a right fielder for the Cleveland Indians before swapping positions to become a center fielder for the Mariners after his December 2008 trade.
Gutierrez ranked first in the league with 29 runs saved defensively according to Ultimate Zone Rating, making him one of the best defensive players of 2009 and a key focus for the Mariners in 2010.
Nicknamed "Death to Flying Things" by Mariners' broadcaster Dave Niehaus, Gutierrez tried to halt a hit by Texas Rangers first baseman Chris Davis but to no avail.
While Gutierrez's strong suit is his defensive ability, his offense isn't too shabby either. He scored 85 runs and stole 16 bases in 2009.
Gutierrez finished the '09 season with 18 home runs, including two dingers in not so hitter-friendly PETCO Park against the San Diego Padres on June 18.