It would appear that the Seattle Mariners are serious about rebuilding their baseball team for the 2014 season. On the heels of the Robinson Cano signing there are now reports that the M’s have signed former Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Corey Hart and made a trade for Florida Marlins outfielder/first baseman Logan Morrison.
At face value these are not blockbuster deals for the Mariners but they are certainly representative of a team that is focused on an aggressive retooling process. Hart may past his prime but he is a proven hitter who could provide some genuine protection for Cano. He did miss 2012 with knee issues, so there are no guarantees that he will be back at full strength.
Morrison is not a proven quantity but he has some of that elusive “upside” and he could have more potential than some of the existing hitters in the lineup. Granted, he also has experienced knee issues so the Mariners are not exactly adding healthy players.
It is a little disappointing to see Carter Capps go, as he was a young arm with potential to be a future closer. However, it appears that the Mariners did not see him in that role. At this point, bats are more important.
The one-year deal that was given to Hart is certainly more palatable than the 10-year deal given to Cano. In addition, Morrison will be a fairly affordable addition to the Mariners. Going forward the question will be where these guys will play. Both Hart and Morrison could theoretically play the outfield, but with bad knees they have each transitioned to playing more at first base. In other words, you have just created a logjam with those two and Justin Smoak.
Someone may have to go. Perhaps it will be the Smoakamotive.
The wheeling and dealing continues as Jack Zduriencik attempts to remake this club. What is next?