Seager reflects on World Series parade, provides timetable for return

February 19th, 2024

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- doesn’t often say many words, but when he does speak, he makes them count. Meeting with the media ahead of the Rangers’ first full squad workout on Monday, he said his mic drop heard around the Metroplex was not planned, rather something he decided in the moment.

After losing the division to the Astros via tiebreaker, Houston third baseman Alex Bregman quoted Kanye West, saying “People were wondering what it was going to be like if the Astros didn’t win the division. I guess we’ll never know.”

After the World Series parade, Seager returned the favor.

“Everybody was wondering what would happen if the Rangers didn’t win the World Series,” Seager said. “I guess we’ll never know.”

“I'm happy [the fans] were excited about it,” Seager said with a laugh. “Obviously, it was a really fun time for us, but it’s time to move on for me, but I'm glad they still enjoy it. … It was very much on a whim. [What Bregman said] stuck with us, absolutely. It's something that motivated us. We used it and that was great for us. It brought us more together at a time that we were trying to regroup. So it was a good thing for us.”

But the reigning World Series MVP isn’t entering a new trash talking phase of his career. Instead, Seager is solely focused on getting back healthy and on the field.

Last month, Seager underwent surgery to repair a left sports hernia that had been bothering him since the regular season. He said at that point and into the postseason, it was manageable enough to where it wasn’t a concern.

“I mean, you’re not going to stop playing,” Seager said. “It was the wrong time to. It just never got better. It was probably, partially, a little bit in my mind thinking 'it's going to just heal eventually.' It's just really unfortunate. I’m definitely not happy with the situation right now.”

The aches and pains didn’t affect Seager at the end of the regular season or in the postseason, though. He finished second in the balloting for the AL MVP Award behind two-way superstar Shohei Ohtani after hitting .327/.390/.623 with 33 homers, 42 doubles and 96 RBIs, though he played just 119 games.

In the postseason, Seager hit .318 with six homers, six doubles and 12 RBIs en route to his second World Series MVP.

Initially, the plan was for Seager to let the injury heal with rest and recovery this offseason, but ultimately, it was the best decision to get the surgery done to accelerate the process. The hope is for him to be ready for Opening Day, but that isn’t a definite timeline.

“It was just a lot of communication,” Seager said. “I was told it was going to heal, and it just never did. It never felt better. It's better to miss, potentially, a little bit in the beginning than to miss a few weeks in the season. We got it relooked at and just made the decision. As simple as that.”

Even with his accolades last season, Seager also spent time on the IL at two separate points -- once with a left hamstring strain and another time with a thumb sprain. His goal is for that to not happen again.

A few days before camp officially started, Seager was cleared to begin incline walking and riding the stationary bike, but baseball activities are still further down the road.

“Get healthy,” Seager said of his mindset this spring. “There’s nothing else to do. I’m gonna try not to get antsy, and try to be ready as fast as possible, though.”

“I don't want to set unfair expectations for Corey, but nothing amazes me with him and his ability to roll out of bed and hit,” general manager Chris Young said. “He's such an important player to our team and our franchise. We want to make sure we get this right and when Corey is ready to be back out there, he will be back out there."