Franklin Gutierrez (Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports)

Should the Astros Sign Franklin Gutierrez?

The Houston Astros outfield was a mess last season. Well, for the most part.

Robbie Grossman did well during his second stint in Houston prior to getting injured, but whether he deserves to start in 2014 is still up for debate. Chris Carter proved his worth as a power threat, but there are also openings at first base and designated hitter. Brandon Barnes can hit lefties and play good defense, but he is more of a fourth outfielder.

Yes, we are expecting George Springer in 2014, but there are still two other openings that need to be filled.

Perhaps Franklin Gutierrez can fill one of those spots?

To put it simply, Gutierrez has been a disappointment the last two seasons. The outfielder played in just 132 games in 2012 and 2013 combined including only 40 last year. An understatement would be to say that Gutierrez is injury prone. Essentially his entire season was sabotaged by a bad hamstring injury.

For that reason, the Seattle Mariners declined the outfielder’s $7.5 million option for 2014 making him a free agent.

What Gutierrez does have is talent, and the 30-year old still has some potential. Last season, he batted .260 with four home runs and 17 RBI’s, as he did show some flashes.

If you want to get a clearer indication of what to expect from the outfielder, I would look at his 2009 and 2010 campaigns.

  • 2009: .283, 18 HR, 70 RBI, 85 runs, 16 stolen bases
  • 2010: .245, 12 HR, 64 RBI, 61 runs, 25 stolen bases

Gutierrez can also add good defense and if healthy a .260/15/65/70/20 projection for 2014 is reasonable. Also after the last two injury plagued years it is likely that he will come cheap on a short term, incentive filled contract.

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  • Larry

    If u want my answer, Ray I say no to signing Franklin Gutierrez. Ray I was over Free Agents again & again but the only person that could be in right field if he stays healthy is Matt Kemp. I just don’t know. But I still like Corey Hart. But I did see something if the Astros don’t go after David Murphy he old but he has lots of power still Raul Ibanez. U think he is too old.

    • Ray_Kuhn_28

      Fair enough, F-Gut is not the most exciting option, but he is still young and does have talent. I like Murphy and I think he should be a target. Same with Hart because he can also play first base. Ibanez I’m thinking is too old for the long term plan of the team. In the short term he would be a solid contributor though.

  • Larry

    Ray, well a lot of rumors are going up. I bet there will be more. The Los Angeles Dodgers are saying 3 of there outfielders are on the trading block one is from the Houston Area, u who I am talking about, Carl Crawford & they have Matt Kemp & Ethier. Crawford, 32, Kemp, 29 & Either 31. If I had to choose I say Matt Kemp he might be damage good, but they is what happen to Josh Hamilton & look what he did for the Texas Rangers. If Matt Kemp needs a change in a diffrent jersey. I don’t what the Astros would offer the Dodgers in return. As the World Turns…

    • Ray_Kuhn_28

      Yep one or two of those guys are certainly available. And especially in the case of Ethier I can see LA absorbing some of that salary.

      I’m sure Luhnow is at least entertaining all 3 of these options among many others