Gutierrez, Saunders depart Mariners
Baseball: The Mariners have declined 2014 options on outfielder Franklin Gutierrez and left-hander Joe Saunders.
The pair became free agents.
Gutierrez and Saunders each get $500,000 buyouts. Both players originally signed deals with $7.5 million options, and Saunders’ price escalated to $7.9 million based on 32 starts and 180 innings.
Gutierrez appeared in just 173 of the team’s 486 games over the past three seasons with six separate trips to the disabled list. In 41 games last season he batted .248 with seven doubles and 10 home runs.
Saunders went 11-16 with a 5.26 ERA in 32 starts.
Seattle also reinstated right-hander Stephen Pryor from the 60-day disabled list.
GU women 25th in first AP poll
Women’s basketball: For the first time in program history, the Gonzaga women’s basketball team starts the season ranked in the Associated Press Top 25. The Bulldogs checked in at No. 25 when the Associated Press released the preseason rankings Friday.
Gonzaga received 81 points to edge out West Virginia, which received 77, for the final spot.
The Zags were one of the squads “also receiving votes” in the AP Preseason Poll four times since 2008-09, including the 2011-12 preseason when they were the third team “also receiving votes,” but weren’t able to break into the poll until this season.
Connecticut was the unanimous No. 1 with all 36 first-place votes and 900 votes total.
GU hosts Idaho in its opener on Friday.