Designated hitter Nelson Cruz is the Mariners’ nominee for the Hank Aaron Award, which seeks to recognize the top hitter in each league.
Cruz, 36, batted .287 in 155 games and led the club with 43 homers and 105 RBIs. He also led the Mariners with a 147 OPS+ (on-base percentage plus slugging percentage adjusted for ballpark factors).
The fans’ selection will comprise one vote in conjunction with a seven-member Hall of Fame panel, which this year includes Ken Griffey Jr.
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Others on the panel: Hank Aaron, Roberto Alomar, Johnny Bench, Craig Biggio, Eddie Murray and Robin Yount. The winner in each league will be announced at the World Series.
The award dates to 1999. Last year’s recipients were Toronto third baseman Josh Donaldson and Washington outfielder Bryce Harper. No Mariner has ever won the award.
NEW VICE PRESIDENT
Trevor Gooby was hired earlier this week by the Mariners to serve as their vice president of ballpark operations. He previously served as the Pittsburgh Pirates’ senior director of operations in Florida and the Dominican Republic.
Gooby replaces Joe Myhra, who held the position for the previous three years. Myhra left the post to become the president of the United Center in Chicago.
In his new role, Gooby will oversee all ballpark operations at Safeco Field, including maintenance, engineering, sustainability, game day operations, grounds keeping, events, housekeeping and security.
Bob Dutton: @TNT_Mariners