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August 26, 2013 at 3:45 PM

Franklin Gutierrez back with Mariners, Aaron Harang DFA

Franklin Gutierrez has appeared in only 18 games this season after being sidelined with leg problems. Photo Credit: AP

Franklin Gutierrez has appeared in only 18 games this season after being sidelined with leg problems. Photo Credit: AP

Franklin Gutierrez has played all of 18 games with the Mariners this season and none within the past two months. But tonight, he’s back in the starting lineup and batting third as the Mariners open a series against the Texas Rangers.

To clear a roster spot, the Mariners designated Aaron Harang for assignment. What does this mean as far as who will take Harang’s place in the rotation? One possibility is Class AAA starter Taijuan Walker.

The Mariners now have 10 days to trade or release Harang, who went 5-11 with a 5.76 ERA over 120 1/3 innings in Seattle’s rotation.

As for Walker, Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik hinted last week he was considering adding him to the team’s list of September callups. The most heralded of the so-called “Big 3” prospects the team has been touting in the minors going on two years, showcasing Walker would allow the Mariners to add to the list of young players they’ve been showcasing in the majors this season.

For Gutierrez, the coming month with the Mariners will likely be his last, since the team is unlikely to pick up his $7 million option for next season given his continued health woes.

There was word today via Jon-Paul Morosi of FOX Sports that Kendrys Morales was claimed by an unknown team when the Mariners attempted to slide him through revocable August waivers. The Mariners can now attempt to work out a deal with that team, or let the claim go through for the money owed him. One other choice is to pull Morales back and allow him to finish the rest of the season with Seattle.

Any deals the Mariners would try to complete involving Morales have to get done before the Aug. 31 deadline for him — or any other traded player — to be eligible for post-season play.

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