Second baseman Robinson Cano, who completed his first season Sunday as a Seattle Mariner, is the club’s nominee for the Hank Aaron Award, which seeks to honor the “most outstanding offensive performer” in each league.
Cano, 31, led the Mariners in batting (.314) and on-base percentage (.382) and matched third baseman Kyle Seager for the club lead in slugging percentage (.454).
Aaron and a panel of Hall of Fame members will select a recipient in each league and announce a winner during the World Series.
The award was established in 1999 to mark the 25th anniversary of Aaron breaking the career home run record previously held by Babe Ruth.
The 2013 recipients were Detroit first baseman Miguel Cabrera and Arizona first baseman Paul Goldschmidt. No Mariner has ever won the award.
as Cy Young favorite
Mariners ace Felix Hernandez is the betting favorite to win the American League Cy Young Award, according to Bovada.lv, an online gaming site.
Bovada installed Hernandez as a 2-to-3 favorite with Cleveland right-hander Corey Kluber next in line at 11-to-10.
Hernandez improved to 15-6 and won the AL ERA crown at 2.14 after pitching 51/3 scoreless innings Sunday when the Mariners closed their season with a 4-1 victory over the Los Angeles Angels.
Kluber finished at 18-9 with a 2.44 ERA.
The Cy Young Award is determined by a panel of 30 members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. That panel consists of two members from the chapter in each of the American League’s 15 cities.
Ballots must be returned prior to the start of postseason. The winner will be announced Nov. 12 on MLB Network.
Hernandez won the award in 2010. He finished second in 2009, fourth in 2012 and eighth in 2013.
Montero activated; Hart designated
The Mariners activated first baseman/designated hitter Jesus Montero from the suspended list after clearing space on their 40-man roster by designating veteran outfielder/first baseman Corey Hart for assignment.
The move comes one day after the Mariners completed their season and is, effectively, a paper transaction.
Hart, 32, was in line to become a free agent once the World Series concludes. This move simply permits him to do so once the designated for assignment process runs its course.
The Mariners suspended Montero, 24, for his actions in confronting club scout Butch Baccala during an Aug. 28 game in Boise. Montero was, at the time, on a rehab assignment at Short-A Everett.
While in uniform, Montero had not yet played for the AquaSox. He was serving as a base coach when the incident with Baccala occurred.
Reports said Baccala became annoyed at what he perceived as Montero’s leisurely approach to his duties and paid for a vendor to take ice cream to Montero in the dugout.
Montero responded by attempting to charge into the stands after Baccala.
The Mariners pulled Baccala off the road following the incident, and subsequently confirmed his contract will not be renewed once it expires Oct. 31.
Hart battled injuries for much of the season after signing a one-year deal as a free agent in December for $6 million with numerous incentives. He batted .203 in 68 games with six homers and 21 RBIs.
Montero spent most of the season at Triple-A Tacoma prior to his suspension. He batted .286 for the Rainiers with 16 homers and 74 RBIs in 97 games. He was 4-for-17 in six big-league games.
Mariners to pick 21st in 2015 new-player draft
The order for the baseball’s 2015 new-player draft crystallized Sunday when the regular season ended.
The Mariners will select 21st which, at this point, marks their lowest initial selection since 2010, when they didn’t have a first-round pick as a compensation penalty for signing free agent Chone Figgins.
Under current draft rules, the Mariners would lose their top 2015 pick if they sign a free agent who receives a qualifying offer from another club.
The draft order is determined by a reverse order of each club’s winning percentage, i.e., the club with the worst record drafts first, etc. The first round in 2015 tentatively has 31 picks for the 30 clubs.
The extra pick belongs to the Houston Astros, who will get the second overall selection as compensation for failing to sign pitcher Brady Aiken, whom they chose with the first overall pick in the 2014 draft.
The Mariners chose catcher Alex Jackson with the sixth overall pick in the 2014 draft. Jackson subsequently converted to the outfield in the Arizona Rookie League.