San Francisco Giants Designate Juan Gutierrez for Assignment

The Giants designated Juan Gutierrez for assignment today, which is hardly surprising.  He has enough major league service to be eligible for arbitration, and he’s not a guy you go to arbitration with.  The Giants paid him $850,000 in 2014, and he was projected to make about $1.7 million through the arbitration process.  He’s at most a $1 million a year pitcher.

It remains to be seen if the Giants attempt to re-sign him at the afore-mentioned $1M.  The Giants saw something in Gutierrez last off-season, and signed him to be the last guy in their bullpen.  That’s exactly what he was.  He came cheap, and he was just good enough to stick around all season and pitch in 61 games regular season games.  He didn’t pitch in even one post-season game, and likely wasn’t on the post-season rosters.

The good news for Gutierrez is that after the 2014 season he had, someone will give him a major league contract for 2015.  He’s only 31 years old, and no real risk at $700K to $1M.

It seems like for about the last decade, the Giants have been exceptionally good at identifying this class of pitcher — the guys who get cut loose every off-season because they’re arbitration eligible but haven’t performed well enough for a team to go to arbitration with.  Some of that is good scouting, the same good scouting that has allowed the Giants to get so much production out of their recent 1st round draft picks.

Some of it is also the ballpark.  If you can’t succeed as a right-handed pitcher out of the bullpen at AT&T Park, you probably aren’t going to succeed anywhere in MLB.


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