What Happened In 2017: Signed to be a weapon against left-handed pitchers, but never got on track and missed most of the season with a recurrence of his ankylosing spondylitis.
When the Dodgers signed Franklin Gutierrez to a 1-year, $2.6 million contract, I was ecstatic. The Dodgers had brought back a guy I had been chasing since 2013, and he filled a need for the Dodgers. They struggled so mightily against left-handed pitching in 2016 and they signed one of the best free agent hitters against LHP. It all made perfect sense.
Well, Gutierrez never really got on track in his second go ’round with the organization, but not for lack of trying. He saw his illness flare up and, outside of a brief rehab assignment, he didn’t play after a pinch-hit appearance on June 24.
On May 2, Gutierrez drew a start against the Giants and now-Ranger Matt Moore. The Dodgers fell behind 4-0 early, but that didn’t bother Gutierrez. He spurred the comeback by launching this bomb to center field.
What might have been.
The Dodgers didn’t miss Gutierrez much thanks to Enrique Hernandez and Justin Turner rediscovering their stroke against southpaws. Still, it would have been awesome to see Gutierrez have a productive and, most importantly, healthy 2017 season.
His season officially ended on Sept. 8, when the Dodgers announced he would finish the season the 60-day disabled list.
2018 Status: Free agent. He probably doesn’t fit the Dodgers’ 2018 plans, but if he’s healthy enough to play, he could latch on somewhere in the same role the Dodgers signed him for in 2017. Health is the biggest factor in that, though.