Mariners,Gutierrez finalize contract
Franklin Gutierrez grew up in downtown Caracas, in a house that he says "wasn't very large, normal."
"My mom and dad took me to ballgames," Gutierrez said yesterday. "They would do everything they could do to buy a glove for me, and a bat."
Now, their son can give back to Franklin Sr. and Leida. Many times over.
The center fielder and the Seattle Mariners finalized a $20.5 million, four-year contract yesterday that includes a team option for 2014, a deal that avoided salary arbitration.
"It's a great day," the 26-year-old defensive whiz said, flashing a pair of star-shaped diamonds in each earlobe. "I'm really excited. It's something that I think any player wants — and not everybody gets.
He returned to Seattle after spending Christmas back home in Venezuela.
"My parents started crying," he said. "They told me I deserved it, because I worked hard my whole life."
Gutierrez set career highs by hitting .283 with 18 homers and 70 RBIs last season, his first in Seattle. He also made several Gold Glove-caliber catches while playing a career-high 153 games.
"For sure, this gives more security to your life," said Gutierrez, who is married and said he may buy a condominium in Seattle with some of his new cash.
The Mariners acquired him in December 2008 from Cleveland in a trade that sent former All-Star closer J.J. Putz to the New York Mets.
PITCHER MYERS AGREES TO $5M DEAL
Pitcher Brett Myers and Houston have reached a preliminary agreement on a one-year contract that guarantees him $5 million, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press.
Myers' deal includes a mutual option for 2011. He also can earn additional performance bonuses.
The 29-year-old right-hander has played all eight of his major league seasons with the Philadelphia Phillies, going 73-63 with a 4.40 ERA. He was 4-3 with a 4.84 ERA in 10 starts and eight relief appearances last year, when he made $12 million.
Myers tore the labrum in his right hip in May and underwent surgery in June. He missed a rehab start in August after an eye injury, finally returned in September and made eight relief appearances in the last month of the regular season.
Royals: Outfielder Scott Podsednik and Kansas City agreed to a $1.75 million, one-year contract that includes a club option for 2011. Podsednik had one of his best seasons with the Chicago White Sox last year, hitting .304 with 48 RBIs, 75 runs and 30 steals.
Japan-bound: Former San Diego Padres second baseman Edgar Gonzalez has signed with the Yomiuri Giants of Japan's Central League. Gonzalez, 31, hit .216 over 82 games for San Diego last season, missing time with a concussion and shoulder injury.