SEATTLE (AP) — If they are healthy, the Seattle Mariners believe they may have lured Corey Hart at a bargain rate and given up little to get Logan Morrison.
Health will be the biggest question for both. On Friday, after the Mariners finalized their one-year deal with Hart and the trade with Miami to acquire Morrison, they both said they were ready for a full season after knee troubles in the past.
Seattle capped a hectic two days of activity after both players passed physicals on Friday. Morrison was acquired for right-handed reliever Carter Capps from the Marlins, while Hart signed an incentive-laden $6 million, one-year deal that could be worth up to $10.65 million if he's healthy and has 650 plate appearances.
The moves came a day after Seattle's big splash when it completed the $240 million, 10-year deal with free agent second baseman Robinson Cano.
"You look at the ball clubs and you want to go to a place that's kind of headed in the right direction and with them signing (Cano) I saw the organization is definitely moving forward," Hart said.
Hart's decision to come to Seattle was partly due to a longstanding relationship with Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik, who was part of the Milwaukee front office that draft Hart. That familiarity helped seal Hart's decision, as did little factors like spring training in Arizona and the opportunity to give his body a rest but stay in the lineup being used as a designated hitter.
The ability to get a break occasionally and still DH was important for both players.
"It does give you some versatility. For both players now being in the American League where we have the DH is going to help both guys," Zduriencik said. "Between right field, first base, designated hitter and a chance to get them off the field a little bit and get a break is going to help both guys.
If Hart can stay healthy, getting the two-time All-Star for one season on a relatively inexpensive deal could be a significant coup for the Mariners, who have made adding offense a top priority this offseason. It started with Cano's deal continued by adding a needed right-handed bat in Hart that can provide protection in the lineup.