The Mariners announced this evening that they have designated Corey Hart for assignment. The move clears a spot for Jesus Montero to return to the 40-man roster following his suspension.
Hart was due to become a free agent after the completion of the World Series, so today’s move just cuts him loose a bit sooner. The Mariners gave the 32-year-old a one-year, $6 million deal last winter in hopes that he would be able to get his career back on track after multiple knee surgeries cost him the entire 2013 season, but he batted just .203 with six home runs and a .590 OPS over 68 games this season. He missed significant chunks of time with knee and hamstring injuries.
Montero ended the season on the suspended list following an altercation with a (now former) team scout in August that centered around an ice cream sandwich. The former top prospect spent most of the season at the Triple-A level, batting .286/.350/.489 with 16 home runs and 74 RBI over 97 games.
The Mariners made a handful of roster moves on Saturday afternoon, per Shannon Drayer of MyNorthwest.com. The club has outrighted pitcher Blake Beavan from the 40-man roster after he cleared waivers and placed DH Corey Hart on the disabled list with a right knee contusion. With the extra roster space, the Mariners activated pitcher James Paxton from the 60-day disabled list.
Paxton, 25, has been on the disabled list since April 9 with a strained lat in his left shoulder. The lefty made only two starts prior to the injury, allowing three runs over 12 innings with a 13/2 K/BB ratio.
Hart, 32, missed 42 games with a stint on the DL between May 19 and July 3 with a strained left hamstring. It is no surprise that the oft-injured veteran is back on the DL. He has slashed a disappointing .203/.278/.314 with five home runs and 20 RBI in his first season with the Mariners after signing a one-year, $6 million deal back in December.
Beavan, 25, has missed most of the season with an impingement in his right shoulder. He made one start for the Mariners in the big leagues, allowing two runs over four innings against the Rangers on April 15. In 21 non-rehab innings in the minors, Beavan has a 2.14 ERA with a 14/9 K/BB ratio.
A disappointing day for the Royals got worse late Thursday night, as the team discovered that first baseman Eric Hosmer could miss 3-4 weeks with a stress fracture in his hand.
It’s an especially poorly-timed injury with the trade deadline having just passed. Worse, the Royals recently traded Danny Valencia to the Blue Jays for catcher Erik Kratz, denying them their best fallback option at first base. They’ll most likely turn to Raul Ibanez for now. They could later explore a deal for Boston’s Mike Carp or Seattle’s Corey Hart once waivers go through.
Hosmer has had a disappointing year, but he was the Royals’ best player of late, hitting .377/.436/.551 with two homers in 21 games this month. Ibanez is hitting .209/.244/.372 in 43 at-bats since joining the Royals and .167/.255/.287 in 209 at-bats this year.