Mariners Insider

Mariners sign Hart and acquire Morrison

Post by Bob Dutton / The News Tribune on Dec. 11, 2013 at 12:19 pm with 11 Comments »
December 11, 2013 1:03 pm

First, Corey Hart. And then Logan Morrison

The Seattle Mariners kicked their off-season overhaul into overdrive again Wednesday at the Winter Meetings in Orlando, Fla., by signing Hart and, only minutes later, acquiring Morrison from Miami for reliever Carter Capps.

A baseball source confirmed the Hart signing for a one-year deal believed to include a $5 million guarantee with incentives that could boost the value to $13 million.

The report on Morrison came from Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald.

The Mariners signed Hart, first reported by Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com, shortly  after word surfaced that the Dodgers had pulled outfielder Matt Kemp off the trade market.

The news on Kemp came from Dave Stewart, who represents Kemp, via ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark. The Mariners were viewed by many as the leading candidate to acquire Kemp, who has six years remaining on his contract at $128 million.

With Kemp apparently no long available, the Mariners accelerated their push for Hart, who appeared close Tuesday night to returning to the Brewers for an incentive-based deal believed to top out at $8 million.

Hart, 31, made $10 million in 2013 but was always a likely candidate for an incentive-based contract because he missed all of last year after undergoing two knee surgeries. He batted .270 in 2012 with 30 homers and 83 RBIs in 149 games.

While Hart played outfield for much of his nine-year career, he previously indicated a strong preference to switch to first base.

The moves to acquire Hart and Morrison, 26,  could position first baseman Justin Smoak as a trade candidate. Several clubs are looking for first basemen.

Morrison, a left-handed hitter, became expendable after the Marlins signed Garrett Jones to be their first baseman.

Injuries limited Morrison to just 178 gams over the last two years. He batted .242 last season with six homers and 26 RBIs in 85 games. He made $491,500 last season but is likely to triple his salary this winter through arbitration.

Capps, 23, was 3-3 with a 5.49 ERA in 53 games while registering 66 strikeouts in 59 innings.

 

Leave a comment Comments → 11
  1. Quinault says:

    Last year was the season of the DH’s. It looks like 2014 will be the season of the 1B’s.

    Note: 2013 was also the season of the back up catcher. C’mon GMZ, we need a pitcher!

  2. edstang45 says:

    Does this mean we’re done and out of the market for Cruz. …tired of these middle of road trades and pickups. …JZ you need to get serious about Cruz

  3. I would hardly label Corey Hart as “middle of the road.” If healthy, he provides legitimate right-handed power and slightly above-average defense, without the question mark of PED use hanging over his head. Also, he comes at a considerably cheaper cost than Cruz (who has his own injury history as well as sub-par defense), which allows us to target another SP, bullpen arm, etc.

  4. edstang45 says:

    Ok coach I’ll take your word on it. ..name sounds familiar but I haven’t any personal knowledge. .I guess I’ve become very pessimistic concerning JZ and the past few years. .lots of terrible FA adds. …hope Kendrys signs here also

  5. The red flag is that Hart was hurt all of last year, which is also why we haven’t heard much about him. And, he has spent his career in Milwaukee playing behind Braun and Fielder.

  6. Denver_Fan says:

    Hopefully this will make people stop talking about Cruz. That would be a terrible pickup. JZ can get serious about Cruz by ignoring him.

  7. Color me unimpressed. They’d better drop some significant coin on a starting pitcher and at least bring Raul back. Hell, maybe they can get Morales back for cheap late in the off-season. Doesn’t seem to be much of a market for him.

    Not really in favor of giving Cruz a bunch of money, but Hart comes with some of the same baggage. Not good defensively in the OF. Could be a product of the park he played in. OPS in 2010 was .958 at home and .789 on the road. OPS in 2011 was .984 at home and .744 on the road. OPS in 2012 was .987 at home and .703 on the road. Then there’s the issue of his health.

    Was really hoping they could get Kemp. Oh well. :-(

    Morrison seems like a poor man’s Smoak with more injury issues.

  8. We do still have Montero and the formidable Carlos Peguero to man the DH though!!!!!!!!!

  9. Quinault says:

    I am all for putting up $20 million for the posted Tanaka – should his team want the money rather than his services in 2014. If Price doesn’t want to come here, and we trade away Walker to get him, that would be too high of a price to pay for Price.

    Just sayin’, somebody is on contract, someone isn’t. Go ahead and tease me after Spring Training. Until we get there – we are wheeling and dealing!

    And for name familiarity – who sang: I Wear My Sunglasses At Night?

  10. WTraveler says:

    Just like last year–loading up on first basemen with history of injuries and giving the job to Smoak. JZ just does not have a clue about getting the right people. I’m sure that if he made the right offer to the Dodgers Kemp would be right back on the trading block–but JZ is in love with his low risk deals. We’ve seen that since he has been here.

  11. I’d definitely rather they drop the coin on Tanaka if getting Price will take Walker. I would be willing to part with Walker if Price agrees to an extension.

    Get ready for another season of bad defense in the outfield folks. Possibly average if Ackley can acclimate to LF where his arm is less of an issue. He has the speed to be pretty good out there. Saunders is around average in CF. Hart is almost certainly going to be below average in RF. Hope no other team really has interest in Guti so that they can bring him back for the min with possibly some moderate incentives.

    Saw that Guti was diagnosed with Ankylosing Spodylitis. Supposedly getting some treatments that are helping. Can’t count on him to start, but could provide a lot of value 2-3 days a week. Explains his GI problems awhile back as well.

    http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/ankylosing-spondylitis/DS00483

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