A quiet offseason for the defending champs just got even rockier, as Texas Rangers general manager Chris Young revealed on Tuesday that star shortstop Corey Seager had undergone sports hernia surgery. Young did add that the club is “hopeful” the 2023 World Series hero will be ready to play come Opening Day, adding that the concern level isn’t very high. Still, a player as important — and with as lengthy an injury history — as Seager having the start of his season thrown into doubt is never a good thing.
Young explained to Jeff Wilson of Rangers Today that Seager first suffered the injury during the 2023 postseason. At the time, it was agreed upon that the best course of action was for him to gut it out and get some rest over the winter. But that clearly didn’t do the trick — at least not to the desired extent — and on Tuesday the team and player decided it was best to nip it in the bud and hope to miss as little of 2024 as possible.
Granted, the Rangers’ lineup figures to be stacked once again, with a full season of Evan Carter and all-world prospect Wyatt Langford banging on the door to the Majors. Still, Seager is the straw that stirs the drink: The 29-year-old is coming off an incredible season, one in which he hit .327/.390/.623 (170 OPS+) with 33 home runs and 96 RBI during the regular season before delivering one of the most iconic moments in recent playoff history and capturing World Series MVP honors.
Seager is entering the third year of his 10-year, $325 million pact with the Rangers. He’s made the All-Star Game in both of his seasons in town, and has also won a Silver Slugger Award last year and finished second in AL MVP Award voting behind Shohei Ohtani. (Teammate and double-play partner Marcus Semien finished third.)
The Rangers seem unlikely to make a notable addition to their infield even if Seager does begin the year on the injured list. Again, the team’s depth is an asset here, as Texas could turn instead to utility man Ezequiel Duran (106 OPS+ in 2023) or Josh H. Smith. The Rangers are scheduled to begin the 2024 regular season at home on Thursday, March 28 against the Chicago Cubs.