Update- 12/12: Corey Hart's contract will pay him $6 million with incentives that could bring the total up to $13 million, according to Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times.
The Mariners have added two more bats to their lineup, signing free agent first baseman/outfielder Corey Hart to a one-year deal, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, and acquiring Logan Morrison from the Marlins for reliever Carter Capps, according to Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald.
Morrison, 26, had been on the trading block for a couple of weeks. While it seemed at first that Miami might just be testing the trade waters, the finalization of Garrett Jones' two-year deal with the Marlins last week seemed to push LoMo's market to critical mass. He has dealt with serious leg issues the last two years -- he needed two knee surgeries to fix his patellar tendon -- but managed to stay on the field from July through the end of 2013, so the worst of that may be behind him. The lefty slugger was a big homer threat before his knee gave out on him, but hasn't done much with the bat since returning from surgery; he's hit an anemic .236/.321/.387 with 17 home runs in his last 178 games.
Hart has also battled knee issues and missed all of the 2013 season following surgery to repair his right knee in January. Originally employed as a rightfielder, Hart spent the majority of 2012 at first base, hitting .270/.334/.507 with 30 home runs and 83 RBIs for the Brewers. During his nine-year career with Milwaukee, he hit .270/.334/.507.
The Mariners' plan for the two players is still unclear at this point. Both have experience at first base and the outfield, giving Seattle flexibility in right, left and at first next season. Both players bring plus home-run power to the lineup when healthy and with Morrison batting from the left side and Hart hitting from the right, these additions should give the Mariners plenty of opportunities to exploit match-ups next season.
The Marlins will receive Capps, a 23-year-old reliever, in exchange for Morrison. The tall righty has pitched 84 innings in the majors over the last two season for Seattle and posted a 5.04 ERA. Home runs were an extreme problem for him last season- he allowed 12 homers in just 59 innings., but he does have exciting strikeout ability, with a 10.1 career K/9 rate.
With this move, the Mariners could be looking to trade first baseman Justin Smoak, who is likely to draw interest from the Rays as a part of a package for David Price. Seattle could theoretically keep Morrison, Smoak and Hart, but sending either Smoak or Morrison to a team looking for help at first base would seem like the more plausible option.