Long-term Contract For Franklin Gutierrez?

Nothing in English yet, but according to Francisco Blavia - a Venezuelan reporter who I believe broke the Kelvim Escobar --> Mets story - Gutierrez and the M's are finalizing a $20.5m/4yr deal with a 2014 team option ("Falta poco" translating as "almost done"). Kirby Arnold has picked up on the Tweet, saying:

The Mariners, of course, won't confirm anything until it's done. What I'm told is that the report from Venezuela has legs, but there are details to work out before an announcement can be made.

That the M's and Gutierrez were working on a long-term deal has been in the news for a while, now, but now that we have some actual numbers, we can see just how good of a deal this really is. This is Gutierrez's first year of arbitration eligibility. He has three remaining years of team control. If Blavia's report is correct, then the M's have secured all of Guti's arbitration years and at least one year of free agency.

For $20.5m. I'm just guessing at the breakdown, here:

2010: $2m
2011: $4m
2012: $6m
2013: $8.5m

Conventional wisdom has the first, second, and third years of arbitration paying players 40%, 60%, and 80% of their free agent value, so if you prefer, you can imagine this as the rough equivalent of giving an FA Franklin Gutierrez four years and $28-30m or so. And that, obviously, would be a steal, even without taking into consideration the 2014 option (which is probably valued around $10m). Franklin's turning 27 in February. These are his peak seasons.

This is good news. It's not phenomenal news, since we already had Gutierrez for three years anyway, but buying out quality free agent years is always super, and the fact that the M's and Guti won't ever have to go to arbitration is icing on the cake. That makes one member of the core locked up for a long long time. Now to move on to the next.

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