Mariners designate Corey Hart for assignment, clearing spot for Jesus Montero on 40-man roster

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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.