Montero was assigned to Triple-A Buffalo on Saturday. Montero was claimed off waivers from Seattle, and he'll look to reinvigorate his career north of the border. Montero appeared in 38 major league games last season, notching a paltry .223 average with 32 strikeouts and four walks.
Montero was designated for assignment Monday, Oscar Hueto of MLB.com reports. Montero was put on waivers over the weekend, and Monday's move likely means a team(s) put in a claim and the Mariners pulled him back with the intent of trading him. The Mariners have 10 days to work out a deal or release him as he is out of options. In any event, Montero's time as a Mariner looks over.
Montero apparently lost the right-handed platoon competition at first base with Dae-Ho Lee as his locker was cleared out Saturday. The Mariners denied a report that said Montero, who is out of options, cleared waivers and is headed for Triple-A Tacoma. Lee has an opt-out clause in his contract that allows him to become a free agent if he's not on the 40-man roster by Sunday. Montero is 9-for-38 this spring with 12 strikeouts and a walk. Lee is 10-for-40 with a home run, six strikeouts and four walks. If he does make the roster, Lee will platoon at first base with Adam Lind.
Montero likely will not remain with the organization if he does not make the Seattle roster as he is out of minor-league options, the Tacoma News Tribune reports. Montero is competing with Dae-Ho Lee and Gaby Sanchez for the right-handed platoon at first base with Adam Lind. Montero likely wouldn't clear waivers if he is released, ending his time in the organization. He seems to be the fallback option if Lee struggles in spring training. Montero's strikeout rate (27.4 percent last season) and walk rate (3.4 percent) are at odds with the general manager Jerry DiPoto's focus of controlling the strike zone. If Lee can show the plate discipline he had in Japan (18.7 K%, 10.6 BB%), he could have the upper hand.
Montero will compete with Dae-ho Lee, Gaby Sanchez, and Stefen Romero for one of the Mariners' final Opening Day roster spots this spring, the Tacoma News Tribune reports. Lee and Montero seem to be the best fits as right-handed hitting platoon partners at first base for Adam Lind. Both players are limited to first base defensively, and Montero is now out of minor league options while Lee has a late-March opt-out clause in his contract after signing a minor league deal with the Mariners this offseason. Montero posted a career-high .967 OPS in 98 games at Triple-A last season (.355/.398/.569, 18 homers, 85 RBI), but he failed to carry that success over to his time in the big leagues. Now 26 years old, his time to contribute in Seattle may be running out, as there's still a good chance he'd be scooped up on waivers if the Mariners don't keep him on the 25-man roster in April.