Jesus Montero spoke to the media Wednesday for the first time since he was suspended for his involvement in the Biogenesis scandal, as he apologized to fans, teammates and the Mariners' organization.
"I made a big, bad mistake last year," Montero said, according to the Seattle Times. "I don't know what I was thinking. I'm here right now, this new year, to be better and to help my teammates and to help the team to win. I feel bad for all of my family and all of my teammates for what I did."
Entering his third season with the Mariners, Montero will be looking to regain some of the prominent status he once held when he was acquired from the Yankees. But he appeared in just 29 games for the Mariners last season because of the 50-game Biogenesis suspension and struggles at the plate.
General manager Jack Zduriencik said in December that it's "a little too risky at this point" for the team to count on Montero to contribute in a big way this season. The former catcher has been transitioning to first base.
"It was a little hard for me," Montero said of his 2013 season which included the suspension, demotion and a knee injury. "This was the first time that happened to me. I had six good years in the Minor Leagues and one good year in the big leagues. The ups and downs were a little hard for me. Thank God, it's in the past for me and I'm here to move forward and be better."
According to the Seattle Times, Montero has no health restrictions and played winter ball in Venezuela. He did admit to coming into camp heavier than he or the Mariners would have liked.
"I have to prove to myself that I have to be better," Montero said, according to the report. "I want to be on the team again. I want to be in the big leagues. I have to prove that to my family and to the team."