Hart is out 4-6 weeks according to McClendon.— Greg Johns (@GregJohnsMLB) May 20, 2014
Hart has been placed in the disabled list with a hamstring injury, leading to the natural assumption that the M's front office is thinking of bringing back Kendrys Morales as the Middlebrooksless Sox did with Drew. However Morales' agent, Scott Boras, will almost certainly use the impending disappearance of Morales' draft compensation as leverage in potential negotiations with Seattle and general manager Jack Zduriencik.
The Mariners stand to gain little by allowing the suddenly desirable Morales to sign elsewhere. They aren't likely to get a compensatory pick, even if Boras hints that other clubs are interested. Boston was able to sign Drew uncontested because the only thing they stood to lose was money, and now Seattle is in the same position.
Other clubs might consider signing away Morales, but it seems very unlikely that a rival club will swoop in during the Mariners' pseudo-exclusive negotiating window. Morales is technically on the open market now, but until June 8 -- after the amateur draft -- he'll cost everyone else something more than capital, even if their first-round pick is protected.
Morales might not be the ideal replacement for Hart, but he's their best option given the fact that all he will cost them is money. They could try to trade for a hitter, but who would they target at this point? Chris Carter? Cody Ross?
Boras knows the situation well, so he could gouge Jack Z a little since the writing is on the wall, but in the end, a deal before the draft benefits him and his client more than a bluff that could cause Morales to wait until after the draft -- or maybe even longer.
A prorated, one-year deal is the utilitarian thing to do. It would get Morales back on the field, where he might help the Mariners, and it would give Boras the opportunity to say he beat a broken system.
It all seems too obvious not to happen, which probably means it won't.