With Nelson Cruz still on the market, the Seattle Mariners could still decide to try and add more star power to a lineup that now boasts superstar second baseman Robinson Cano. Their interest in Cruz seems to be waning, however, and the closer we get to Spring Training the more likely it is that they will proceed with the guys on the roster.
Those guys include the newly signed Corey Hart, who joined the Mariners on a $6 million deal after missing the entire 2013 season with a knee injury. The Mariners are banking on his ability to return to form. It’s not a bad gamble; Hart’s career OPS is a solid .841 and he has hit at least 20 home runs in every season but one, dating back to 2007 and not including 2013. It is just a matter of health.
Hart spoke near the end of Seattle’s Fan Fest and gave an update on his rehab progress (quotes courtesy of Bob Dutton of the Seattle News Tribune):
“I’ve ramped up everything…I’ve been running bases and doing baseball stuff…
“…I haven’t gotten on the field yet to do fly balls, but I’ve been doing simulated ground balls to work on my footwork and agility. It’s been progressing. I’ve been able to do everything. It’s been nice…
“…“I’ve got to show people I can do some stuff. I totally understand that. I’ve got to prove that to myself because I’ve missed a full year because of my knees.”
If Hart clicks, it will make the Mariners look wise in their approach this off-season. If not, the reaction towards Seattle’s front office might be negative, fair or not.