Seattle Mariners Deal Blow To Rays First Base Options
The Seattle Mariners took two first base candidates, both linked to the Tampa Bay Rays, off the board in the span of about an hour.
The Mariners signed free agent Corey Hart formerly of the Milwaukee Brewers to a 1-year deal and later then traded reliever Carter Capps to the Miami Marlins for outfielder/first baseman Logan Morrison.
Hart missed the entire 2013 season due to left knee surgery to repair his meniscus as well as the often complicated microfracture surgery.
In his career he has posted an excellent slash line of .267/.320/.478 against right handed pitching. In addition to hitting right handed pitching well he crushes left handed pitching posting a slash line of .308/.370/.526. In his last full season (2012) he hit .270/.334/.507 with 30 home runs and 83 RBI.
Morrison struggled with the Miami Marlins in 2013 appearing in just 85 games after recovering from surgery on his patellar tendon in September of 2012. Overall he hit .242/.333/.375 and against right handed pitching he hit .261/.354/.423.
In his career he has hit right handed pitching .251/.340/.446 and has not had a dramatic fall off against left handed pitching hitting .244/.329/.378.
He is under team control for the next 3 seasons and is projected by MLBTraderumors.com to make $1.7M in arbitration this year.
Although the moves take two names off the board it might put a new on the Rays radar in first baseman Justin Smoak. With Seattle in 2013 he hit .238/.334/.412 while adding 20 home runs and 50 RBI in 521 plate appearances.
He is a switch hitter and in his career he has hit right handed pitchers (.229/.323/.397) better than left handed pitchers (.223/.294/.362).
He is under team control for the next three seasons and is projected by MLBTraderumors.com to make $2.7M in arbitration this year