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Mariners reach one-year deal to retain outfielder Franklin Gutierrez

Veteran outfielder Franklin Gutierrez is remaining with the Mariners after agreeing to a one-year deal.
Veteran outfielder Franklin Gutierrez is remaining with the Mariners after agreeing to a one-year deal. AP

Guti is sticking around for at least one more year.

The Mariners reached agreement Wednesday with veteran outfielder Franklin Gutierrez on a one-year deal. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Gutierrez, 32, resurrected his career last season by batting a career-high .292 with 15 homers and 35 RBIs in 59 games following his June 24 promotion from Triple-A Tacoma.

It marked a remarkable personal comeback.

Gutierrez did not play in 2014 season and missed large portions of the three previous seasons because of chronic inflammation of his spine and sacroiliac joints, which cause pain in the lower back and legs.

"I’m doing great, man," he said late in the season. "Every time I come here and prepare myself, even if I’m not playing, just prepare myself to be ready in any situation of the game.

"That’s it, man. I’m just enjoying being here again. It always helps when you have a day off. It gives you time to feel better. Your body gets a little rest."

Gutierrez played 305 games in 2009-10 after being acquired by the Mariners on Dec. 11, 2008 from Cleveland in a three-team trade that involved the New York Mets and 12 players.

The trade turned Gutierrez into a full-time player, and he responded by batting .264 in those two seasons and averaging 15 homers and 67 RBIs. He also won a Gold Glove for defensive excellence in 2010.

Gutierrez began battling the effects of his joint ailment — ankylosing spondylitis — in 2011 and played just 173 big-league games over the next three years.

The Mariners re-signed Gutierrez to a minor-league contract on Jan. 26, 2015.

"I think the one thing that’s missed in all of this," former manager Lloyd McClendon said, "is Guti’s integrity. He could have come in last year (2014) and tried to suit up and got paid. He didn’t do that.

"He had a guaranteed contract, but he told the club he couldn’t go. I think that gets lost in all of this. He turned down a lot of money last year."

Signing Gutierrez leaves the Mariners with two openings on their 40-man roster.

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