Mariners Sign Corey Hart, Acquire Logan Morrison

The Seattle Mariners will sign Corey Hart to a one year deal, according to Jon Heyman.

That takes one first base option and one team looking for a first baseman off the market. Milwaukee was waiting on Hart before deciding what to do with their first base position. Earlier today it was reported that they would probably renew their interest in Logan Morrison if Hart signed elsewhere.

Buster Olney reports that the Brewers have also been talking to James Loney.

Right now the three teams in biggest need of a first baseman are Milwaukee, Tampa Bay, and Pittsburgh. All three are looking at Loney and Morrison. The free agent market also has Kendrys Morales, who would cost a draft pick and who has almost no rumors attached to him. The trade market includes Mitch Moreland and Ike Davis.

Bob Nightengale says that Milwaukee would have given $8 M and incentives to Hart, and that they will turn to Loney.

UPDATE 3:00 PM: Seattle also traded for Logan Morrison, according to Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald.

So that changes things a bit. I’d imagine they added Morrison to be an outfielder. That leaves Loney, Moreland, and Davis for the three teams in need of a first baseman. And of course there is Morales if anyone wants to give up a draft pick for him. It’s also likely that Justin Smoak could now be available in Seattle with the addition of Morrison, who could take over at first in 2015 after Hart leaves.

Tim Williams

Author: Tim Williams

Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

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  • jaygray007

    Not ideal, but i’d assume that Justin Smoak now enters the trade market. He can be like… a plan H or a plan I or something.

    • http://www.facebook.com/vabarletta Vicente Barletta

      That was my first thought too. Last offseason the Pirates were interest in him and supposed trade was reported with Hanrahan and Garret Jones going to Seattle for Smoak, John Jaso and some relief pitcher. I guess that was before the Russell Martin signing.
      I am still intrigued by the potential of Smoak. He is like 26 years old still. He is a switch hitter but better against RHP, so the Pirates can still use the platoon with Gaby Sanchez.
      With Hart in, I´m guessing he plays 1b and they still have Jesus Montero, whom I think Seattle rather keep for a while, rather than Smoak who is already arbitration eligible.

      • http://www.facebook.com/vabarletta Vicente Barletta

        That evolved quickly. The Marlins just traded Morrison to Seattle. So Smoak is definitely on his way out.
        Smoak or Loney to the Pirates.

  • deacs

    Would really like to see Loney at this point if it’s between him and Morrison. Does this speed up the process or give Loney any leverage?

    • Born4rf

      I think it slow the FA process down since no one wants to give up a draft pick for Morales… I always assumed he would resign because the Ms wouldn’t have a penalty. In my picture this pushes Morales to the Brews whose 1st rounder would be protected, Rays and Bucs aren’t going to surrender the pick. I want next move to be Cumpton to NY for Davis… more likely they want a Wilson or Melancon but frankly my dear, they might be out of suitors already. Davis might be Aram circa 2002, the bloom is off the rose but the talent that smacked 30 HRs in 2012 is still there.

      • Born4rf

        And now with Morrison sucked up I change mind and say this definitely speeds things up as the options have now shrunk by 25% and I don’t consider Moreland a good candidate. Pull the trigger Neil! Go upside with Ike!

        • Born4rf

          CArter Capps seems to set a low price for out of fashion 1B. Maybe Cumpton for Davis isn’t so farfetched. As for Smoak, if he is arg eligible I don’t touch him and he will be waived this evening. Heck, as a lefty he has a career .720 OPS! He is a flop who never had it, never will.

      • Jared

        If I am giving up Cumpton, someone who could be a productive 5th starter in the majors, I would want to include him in a package for Justin Smoak not Ike Davis.

        • Born4rf

          Davis > Smoak Totes McGoates

      • SteveW

        I highly doubt that the Bucs would give up Wilson or Melancon for a 1B who washed out last year and is no longer in the Mets’ plans. As we get closer to spring training, the Mets may take any offer just to unload him.

  • stickyweb

    Yeah, I don’t like this at all. What the hell happens to Morales at this point? I don’t see anyone in the NL giving him a big deal and losing a draft pick. Very interesting.

  • Jared

    Well, this actually kinda sucks. Now that Seattle acquired two of the available pieces it actually makes it now a sellers market. Milwaukee was reported to be willing to give $8M to Hart…now they can allocate that money to Loney and I, personally, would not want Loney at $8M per year.

    Texas, NYM, and Toronto can now, I think, ask for a little more or stick to their guns on their trade requests too…requests which, frankly, have been ludicrous.

    Seattle could trade Smoak now…maybe the Pirates could match up in a trade with them for Smoak who I actually like better than some of the other available 1B bats.

  • jaygray007

    Morales suiters dwindling… There’s a point where a player gets inexpensive enough that the draft pick loss becomes worth it. That’s just not an analysis i’m smart or willing enough to do. This might be an unrealistic price decline for morales, but i would probably rather have Morales at 3 yrs 15 mil, minus the draft pick than loney at double the price with that draft pick intact. But if those were the numbers involved, i might rather try to move a reliever for Ike Davis or pick up Matt Gamel and/or Tyler Colvin or something.

    • Born4rf

      I agree with your logic but only if our coaches see him as a solid glove, which he probably isn’t. Cheap enough, he coiuld platoon with Gaby to make a monster.

      • Andrew

        Kendrey Morales is now the of Klye Lohse of this year. The Pirates draft pick should be value between $7.3 million and $5.7 million, and that is 2011 dollars. If Huntington does not want $14.1 million in one player why more than that in a platoon? If Morales could field why was Smoak at 1B, if Morales ends up a Pirate something went terribly wrong.

    • IC Bob

      Morales turned down 14 million and one year there is no way in Hades he is taking three years for 15. He will wait until the season starts and someone gets hurt and desperate and that will never be the Pirates.

      • jaygray007

        I agree. that was just a number i threw out for illustration, as i addressed that it was probably unrealistic. You’re probably right that he’ll just wait it out though.

        I was just saying that there was some critical contract value where above it, the draft pick is more valuable – and under it, the major leaguer is more valuable.

        What it all comes down to… is that this compensation system is really really stupid, and morales was probably stupid not to take the QO. he’s not gonna want a longer term deal because he’s not gonna get what he wants, and a short term deal isnt gonna happen because teams won’t give up the draft pick for that, no matter how cheaply he’d sign for, probably.

        • Jared

          Completely agree with you. Not a chance you give up a pick for him for a year even at a steep discount (discount from $14.1M isn’t much of a discount)…consider that Morales has only once had a WAR that would justify even $10M per season. In 2009 his WAR with the Angels was 3, which would justify a $15M salary, but since then he hasn’t once put up a WAR close to that…barely half. His 1.7 WAR justifies $8.5M and that’s approximately what I would give him (probably more like 7.5-8M). It was incredibly dumb to turn down that offer and i am not sure how he recovers, honestly.

      • stickyweb

        IC, interesting idea to not sign and wait for an injury. Are there any recent examples of players actually doing that? I really think his stock has fallen tremendously, and I don’t see that changing too much if he signs mid-year

        • Jared

          He has to fire Scott Boras after this, you’d think.

          If he signs an under-market deal it will probably be with Boras’ favorite Washington Nationals.

  • http://MultiMatchupSports.com Stephen Stasa

    One good thing to come out of all this is that Scott Boras is going to look really bad when Kendrys Morales signs for much less than the QO he turned down.

    I really can’t understand why he would do that anyway. You give the Mariners an incentive to not sign you so they can get a draft pick and what made him think he was worth more than $14M plus a draft pick to anybody else is beyond me.

    • Jared

      Kendrys Morales turning down his QO was as dumb as could be…and now he’ll be lucky to get a one-year deal at half as much as what his QO was.

  • Jeff

    Tim
    What is Bucs equal to Carter Capps….
    Do you think they were in on Morrison and made a offer? Does not look like Bucs would have had to break bank if they wanted him.

  • deacs

    How many years does Smoak have left on his contract? The Brewers driving up the price for Loney – just another reason to hate them. Re – Boras I’ll never forget what he pulled with Pedro and for that I’ll always root against him.

  • jpwebb142

    Davis and Smoak both hit well against RHP. Neither appears to have the glove that Loney’s got. There is a great deal of uncertainty with Davis and Smoak at this point as to whether either can be a starter going forward. As a maligned former top prospect who doesn’t appear to have any future in Seattle, I hope that we can get Smoak for relatively small potatoes – Bryan Morris & a C prospect perhaps. I would hate to part with anyone of significant value given his poor track record in the majors. I’m not sure if he could be had for such a relatively weak haul but I assume we’ll know Smoak’s future in a relatively short time.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lee.young.161 leefoo

    Smoak is a career .238/.704 OPS hitter. He is .241/.733 OPS away from his home park. He hits equally as bad from both sides of the plate.

    I’d rather give Lambo a chance.

    If Seattle wants to trade him, then I’d give them some Low A filler.

    • Andrew

      And career .720 OPS versus RHP.

    • sammykhalifa

      He has pretty severe splits last year, though.

    • jpwebb142

      Why ignore Smoak’s splits last year? He hit RHP very well in a good sized sample.

      If we’re only focusing on career numbers as we try to establish player value then Ike Davis is the way to go. I would be reluctant to pay much for Ike, however, because he fell off a ledge last year and even when he came back his power was gone.

      • rbaraff

        Not that I am strongly advocating for Smoak, but his numbers against RHP last year were pretty decent:

        AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB HBP SO SB CS AVG OBS SLG OPS
        vs. Right 308 43 80 13 0 18 39 47 2 82 0 0 .260 .361 .477 .838

  • CalipariFan506

    It’s been documented that Seattle wants a RH OF. I still think Tabata for Smoak is a decent idea. Then maybe you expend it if they want Wilson or something because Brad Miller is a guy I would covet if I were NH/.

  • Bucco in St. Louis

    Congratulations to Andrew McCutchen who got engaged to his girlfriend on the Ellen DeGeneres show. I am not a viewer of the show, but it was linked by SI.com in their afternoon “Hot Clicks” section.

    Here is a link to the video:

    http://extramustard.si.com/2013/12/11/andrew-mccutchen-gets-engaged-on-ellen/

    • CalipariFan506

      It’s so refreshing to have a star athlete that is loved nationwide around here.

      Not Crybaby Crosby or Roethlisberger the questionable drunk who are both despised in every market outside of Pittsburgh.

  • Y2JGQ2

    Eric Chavez and Lambo become really strong likihoods for the job now after this development. I think the Brewers will overspend for Loney which leaves us noone at a decent price we’d want

  • BuccosFanStuckinMD

    First of all, Smoak just turned 27 – and has never hit more than 20 HRs in a season – and his career BA is .227. he has just been a terrible bust as a former first round pick. I would have rather had Garrett Jones for another season over Smoak – he is definitely not an upgrade.

    Disappointed in the LoMo situation – but, the M’s gave up a very promising young pitcher who throws mid to upper 90s – and is only 23. Carter Capps could be a real good bullpen arm for the Marlins. I would have easily traded a Watson, Locke, or Polmental for LoMo, but that may not have enough straight up.

  • Pie Rat

    Smoak is a better matchup with Gaby than Ike. They should be able to get Smoak cheap.