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Dodgers finalize Franklin Gutierrez contract, roster begins to take shape

Franklin Gutierrez meets with Dave Roberts on Sunday at Camelback Ranch.
Photo credit: Jon SooHoo | Dodgers

PHOENIX — The Dodgers on Monday finalized their one-year contract with outfielder Franklin Gutierrez, worth a reported $2.6 million. With the move, the roster is becoming clearer as full squad workouts are about to start

Gutierrez gives the Dodgers a formidable bat to punish southpaws — manager Dave Roberts on Monday called Gutierrez “a lefty killer” — and one with success and health in the last two seasons.

The right-hander has hit .293/.368/.548 against left-handed pitchers in 2015-2016, a 151 wRC+, and his 20 home runs in just 329 plate appearances rank seventh in the majors against southpaws during that span.

With Gutierrez in the fold, the position player side of the Dodgers roster gains a little more clarity. In the outfield, the plan is for Joc Pederson and Yasiel Puig to have regular spots in center and right field, while Andre Ethier and Gutierrez are veterans who can’t be sent down, not that the Dodgers would want to.

In the infield, the starting four of Adrian Gonzalez, Logan Forsythe, Corey Seager and Justin Turner is joined by Chase Utley. Yasmani Grandal and Austin Barnes are your two catchers.

That is 11 roster spots already taken care of, essentially making this spring a battle for two spots among the position players, health permitting of course.

"You look at the depth chart and you look at the roster, those guys understand. There are only so many spots out there,” Roberts said. “If you look at our offseason, what our front office did, and what the players compromised and sacrificed to be in that clubhouse, it shows a lot of unselfishness. Throughout the spring and through the season, that's what it's going to have to take from each player.”